Sharks spotted off Maine; beaches still open
YORK, Maine -- Sharks were spotted off the coast of Maine this past weekend, but officials aren't too concerned.
"Sensibility tells you, 'Yeah if sharks are seen, then you probably don’t wanna be in the water,'" said Jim Bolton, who was at York Beach in Maine on Monday.
Visitors to York Beach are focused on the ocean after Coast Guard officials spotted two 12-foot-long sharks 1-2 miles off shore over the weekend.
“This is the Atlantic Ocean, and there are sharks out there, and they’re off the coast of Maine, but they’re just typically a lot farther out,” said Mike Sullivan of York, Maine Park and Recreation.
Sullivan said officials plan to keep the beach open as long as no further shark sightings are reported.
Coast Guard crews weren’t sure what type of shark was spotted, but New England Aquarium experts said the shark was likely a basking shark.
“You tend to see them quite a bit in New England waters. They pose no threat to swimmers,” said John Mandleman of the New England Aquarium.
New England has had its fair share of shark sightings. Last summer, Great White sharks were spotted off the coast of Chatham.
The harbormaster in Chatham said if the ocean waters continue to remain warmer than normal, sharks could make their way up the coast before August.
In York, Maine, the basking shark is more of a threat to plankton than it is to people.
“We’re not that worried about it right now,” said Sullivan.
Lifeguards won't be stationed at York Beach for another two weeks.
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