Monday, August 14, 2006

Don't Mako Me Laugh. Ow!

WMTW-8 reported this morning on a suddenly flurry of shark activity in southern Maine.
Shark Sightings Prompt Beach Evacuation
By News 8 WMTW
WELLS, Maine -- Lifeguards in Wells will be on the lookout on Monday, after a dead mako shark was found on the jetties at Wells beach over the weekend.

The cause of the animal's death is not known.

Two more shark sightings were reported Sunday afternoon, prompting the town to implement its shark plan, which involves evacuating the area so that experts can identify the variety of shark.
The shark was found on the jetties Sunday morning, and "two more sharks were reported swimming near shore south of the jetty at about 1 p.m., fire officials said." [Source]

Back in 2002, Wells Beach was closed for three days due to sightings of at least three different sharks, "measuring up to twelve feet long, and in waters as shallow as 4 feet." Eyewitness Tom Harrington, a lifeguard, spotted a large fin in the water while he was out on his Jet-Ski. He estimated it to be "about two feet wide [at its base] and two and a half feet long." It was later determined that the sharks were either blue or mako sharks, both of which are considered to have the potential to be threats to humans. [Source]

In 2004, the AP reported that another pair of sharks spotted off Wells Beach were basking sharks. "The sharks were seen about 25 feet from shore. People at the beach were never in any danger, said Lt. Gregory Stone of the Wells Police Department. They were spotted at around 10:15 a.m. on the Atlantic Avenue side of Wells beach, and left the area around 12:15 p.m." [Source]

Just a year ago, back in August 2005, the town of Wells voted on a shark plan that determines a course of action when sharks are spotted offshore. None too soon, it appears now!

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