Shark Week

Interesting news to go with a video our friend Tom Lynch just uploaded to YouTube,  sharks feeding right off the beach in New Jersey on Thursday…scarry stuff


From East Hampton Star

High Summer and the Sharks Come Near Shore

One knocks lifeguard off his surfboard

By Russell Drumm | August 15, 2012 – 9:10pm

It’s Shark Week on television. The question is, how did the sharks get the word? Late Tuesday afternoon, a lifeguard at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk was knocked from his surfboard close to shore by a shark estimated to have been between five and six feet long. Christian Westergard, the guard, said he thought it was a small white shark.
Mr. Westergard quickly paddled to shore, grabbed a rescue torpedo, and re-entered the water along with fellow guards, who had witnessed Mr. Westergard’s capsizing, to get the 30 or more swimmers out of the water. The Gurney’s guards immediately alerted their counterparts at Napeague State Park, and East Hampton Town lifeguards as well.
Susan Yunker, the nurse at Gurney’s, said: “It came under him, knocked on his legs, then overturned him. He was fairly close to shore. That’s what bothered me. The guards were fantastic. There were people in the water and they got them out.”
According to John McGeehan, East Hampton’s assisant head guard, the too-close encounter, which occurred at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, was the fifth near-shore sighting by guards this summer. Mr. McGeehan said the second scariest report came from a fisherman whose boat was within sight of Ditch Plain, Montauk. The man reportedly called his son on the beach to warn him that a large shark was circling his boat. The younger man passed the word to the lifeguards.
On Tuesday morning, John Morley, a surfcaster on his weekly visit to the East End from New Jersey, landed a slightly smaller shark, estimated to be between four and a half and five feet long, from the beach on Napeague a few miles west of Gurney’s.
A photo of that shark has been forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service shark laboratory in Narragansett, R.I., for identification.
“I had a bird’s-eye view of the situation,” Kate Albrecht, the head lifeguard at Gurney’s, said yesterday. She said that Michael Morris, the guard on the stand, saw Mr. Westergard get tossed from his board, “and saw the shark’s shadow. I saw him run up the beach. He got out quickly. The remarkable thing is he ran and got a torp, and ran back into the water yelling at people to get out.”
“We’ve now had probably four or five credible reports,” Mr. McGeehan said. “They’re in closer this year than in the past. There’s more squid inside, more bait.” The top guard recalled that early last summer, Bob Miller, a guard at Napeague State Park, witnessed what he thought was a large bull shark plow into the shorebreak in an effort to corner striped bass or other fishy prey.
Ms. Albrecht reported Mr. Westergard’s description of the frightening experience: “He was sitting on his board with his legs dangling. He felt it hitting his legs, then it came back and knocked him off the board.”
“Oh my goodness, he said the scariest part was going back into the water.”



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10 comments on “Shark Week

  1. Keith

    This is what happens when a warm winter occurs. But other fish showed up this year that aren’t normally around. So we have to take the good and the bad.

  2. Keith

    Also a shark caught off new jersey by a kayaker posted on SOL was shown on the TODAY show this morning. Obviously I am not out fishing today. “Shark Week” is all around us.

  3. Robert LIO

    “Times they are a changin” thats how the song goes..extended warm winters and even warmer summer combined with all that bait..Lots of reports of sharks being chunked off the beaches.Be careful wading out deep on those night tides..

  4. mike burke

    Ive been fishing the beaches of lbi and ibsp my whole life. When summer is in full swing sharks in the suds are very common. I cant say i have ever seen a shark frenzy like that from a boat or beach truly amazing to watch.

  5. fishtrek

    After blowing the tape up to full screen, the tails almost look like Thrushers. Be interesting to have the ID’ed

  6. John P

    A “possible great white” juvenile is reported every year on the east end of LI. How and why they never see them or hook them during any of the official shark tournaments is another story.

    I saw something nearly identical to the video at Stone Harbor NJ on the afternoon of August 9th. But in this case it was dolphins pushing the bait, and they were a lot closer to the beach. I was only wondering where the bluefish were. A week of bait in tight and no surf action, no bluefish.


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