Posts Tagged ‘shark’

This was the first time this guy ever kayaked!

MSNBC reports:

A first-time kayaker had a close encounter with a great white shark off the coast of Massachusetts over the weekend.

Sunbathers first spotted the shark following two kayakers on Saturday afternoon off Nauset Beach, the Cape Cod Times reported, and yelled to the men offshore.

One of the kayakers saw the shark and quickly paddled in, while it took the other one, Walter Szulc Jr., of Manchester, N.H., a little while longer to notice the dorsal fin just feet away from him.

“There were hundreds of people on the beach, and they were all at the edge, yelling paddle paddle, paddle!” Dave Alexander told the NBC News affiliate in Boston, WHDH.com.

Szulc said when he looked behind him, the shark “was pretty much right there.”

“It was good-sized, it had a fin sticking out, so I just turned and paddled,” he told WHDH.com. It was the first time Szulc had kayaked.

Since June 30, three sharks have been seen plying the waters off Cape Cod for food, the Cape Cod Times reported. The large number of seals in the area is believed to be drawing the sharks.

Orleans Harbormaster Dawson Farber said he and his team went out in a boat to confirm the sighting – he noted the shark was an estimated 12 to 14 feet long — and they had all bathers get out of the water. The beach was also closed.

“Everyone was very relaxed and the shark put on quite a show moving back and forth out in front of the beach, but it was done in a very orderly fashion,” Farber told ABC News.

Witness Debbie Sutton said Szulc “started booking it.”

“You could see the darkness of it,” she told WHDH.com. “It was longer than the kayak … it was crazy big.”

Not all beachgoers were scared by the great white. Some even got into the water at the beach later in the day.

“Everyone wanted to see it,” Karen O’Connell of Medfield told the Cape Cod Times. “There were people running toward it.”

The last shark attack on a human in the area was in 1936, when a man was killed swimming near Mattapoisett, the newspaper reported.

Great white sharks come to New England for a very simple reason:

The New England gray seal population is continuing to grow.  And we all know that great whites are major predators of marine mammals.

Gray seals have made a comeback in the northwestern Atlantic. Both Massachusetts and Maine had bounties on gray seals, and they were heavily persecuted in Atlantic Canada for transmitting the cod worm.

The United States has very strict regulations for protecting seal and sea lions. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 has allowed seals and sea lions to thrive in our waters.

Of course, as they have been able to thrive, so may their predators.

Great whites are currently protected in US waters.

So people are going to be swimming in water that contains a predator and prey dynamic of two protected species.

It’s actually somewhat amazing that these sharks haven’t attacked anyone since 1936.

The potential is there.

It just hasn’t happened yet.

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A dingo ate my shark

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Wait until the end.  You know it’s gonna happen, and it does.


He doesn’t know how lucky he is.

Would I try to hand-feed a hammerhead from the boat?

Not on your life!

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More about him here.

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From the Sydney Morning Herald:

A British man has been mauled by a shark while swimming in South Africa, authorities said.

The 42-year-old man is fighting for his life after the attack by a great white at Fish Hoek beach in Cape Town.

Reports said the man, who is believed to live in the city, was rescued by a bystander after he ignored shark warnings to go swimming.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesman Craig Lambinon told the South African Press Association (Sapa): “It appears he was rescued from the water by a bystander who left the scene before we could identify him.

“On arrival, a 42-year-old man was found on the shore suffering complete amputation of his right leg, above the knee, and partial amputation of his left leg, below the knee.”

Mr Lambinon said the victim was believed to live in the suburb of Plumstead.

He was stabilised at the scene and then airlifted to Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic in a critical condition.

Mr Lambinon said: “The man was conscious when paramedics attended to him on the beach, but was sedated on-scene by paramedics in their efforts to stabilise the patient.”

The city of Cape Town told Sapa that, when the man entered the water, the beach was still closed. A shark flag, indicating the presence of a great white, was flying.

A shark spotter stationed on the beach was warned by a spotter on the mountain that someone had entered the water.


The shark spotters tell the authorities to warn everyone.

Everyone gets out of the water.

This man goes in.

Shark eats his legs.

Maybe he thought they were like dolphins.





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For Shark Week

Yep. Shark Week starts tonight on the Discovery Channel.

And if you think I’m going to miss it, you don’t know me too well :).

So my contribution for Shark Week this year is this wonderful paper on the possible etymology of the English word “shark.”

So is shark derived from a Mayan loan word?



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This 1,780-pound tiger shark was caught off North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 1964. It was nearly 14 feet long.

The fisherman who caught it was Walter Maxwell of Charlotte, North Carolina.

It was caught on 130-pound-test line, using bait that was taken out 800 yard by boat.

The great fish was finally hauled into the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier after three hours of struggle.

I have spent some time in this part of the world.

Shark fishing from piers is illegal in South Carolina.

Perhaps for good reason.

Tiger sharks provide a vital role in the ocean ecosystem, and we probably shouldn’t be so cavalier about killing them.

But I still think it would have been awesome to see this beast hauled in.



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Catching a bonnethead shark


The first shark I had ever seen was one of these.

I was very young, but I remember the beast being hauled out of the surf.

Unlike this shark, the fisherman killed it and then dressed it on the beach.

The image of the shark’s jaws and teeth must have been embedded deep within my psyche, for whenever I dream of sharks, I dream of unusual head shapes.

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This is excellent:


Warning: It includes that graphic scene where Quint gets eaten. If you’ve not seen it before, I wouldn’t watch it here.


On a related note: Bruce, the star of this film, has been rediscovered.

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This is not a big fish tale.

The the claims about the size of the even larger shark that swam off with the gaff in its gills probably are exaggerated.

I’m kind of surprised that after all of that work reeling in the monster, they simply found some place to bury it.

And of course, it raised such a funk that it had to be exhumed.

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