Sharks spotted near Westport, beaches closed briefly
WESTPORT, Mass. (WHDH) -- Three Mass. beaches were closed for a brief time Wednesday due to shark sightings.
“I’m looking and I’m looking and then I realize I was looking at a great white,” said Phil Ashworth who was near Gooseberry Island off Westport when he spotted the shark. “I watched him for a minimum of 15 minutes, probably closer to 20.”
Ashworth said the shark, which he believed was a great white, was about 100 yards out. But then he spotted a second shark much farther away, maybe about 1,000 yards out.
“His dorsal fin was like, it must have been, it was huge,” said Ashworth. “I guarantee the thing was a minimum of 18 feet. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was 20. That dorsal fin was huge.”
Horseneck Beach was closed to swimmers just after noon. But swimmers said that there were fine with staying on the beach after they heard of the two sharks.
“Don’t want to go swimming. I won’t go in that water anytime soon,” said beach goer, Derick Joslyn.
“After watching ‘Shark Week,’ I am never going in the water again,” said beach goer, Jillian Hutton.
People were allowed back in the water about three hours later. State Police sent up a helicopter to look for more sharks, but didn’t spot any.
Ashworth spent decades as a commercial fisherman and he wanted to remind beach goers that sharks are still out there.
“And if you’re in their element, where their food is, then you’re putting yourself on the dinner plate,” he said.
Shark were also sighted on the Cape Monday, but local scientists have not confirmed whether or not they were great whites.