Confirmed Sighting of a Great White Shark Near Harpswell
Marine Resources officials urge continued caution to swimmers and boaters after a confirmed sighting of a Great White shark near Harpswell.
The shark was spotted near Pond Island Ledges, east of Bailey Island, on Friday. Two other shark sightings could not be confirmed. In addition, officials say seals are starting to turn up with bite marks consistent with a shark. Officials have been on alert since a New York woman died in a Great White shark attack on Monday, July 27th.
The Department of Marine Resources is urging all swimmers and others recreating in or near the water in Harpswell and surrounding communities use extreme caution in the water. This includes anyone taking out a paddle craft, like a canoe or kayak. They advise avoiding schooling fish and seals, which are prey for sharks. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Bureau of Parks and Lands has issued restrictions on how deep swimmers can go in the waters of some Southern Maine parks, including Popham Beach and Reid State Park.
"The reports we've received of sharks,combined with more observations of seals with injuries that are consistent with shark bites, plus data that confirms that sharks are active with the Gulf of Maine from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia means we will continue to emphasize caution for anyone recreating in and on our coastal waters for the remainder of the summer," says Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher.
In addition, they're asking that anyone who sees what they believe is a shark to notify the Marine Patrol immediately, with the location, description, and photos, if possible.