Shark dies after beaching itself in Plymouth
PLYMOUTH, Mass. -- A shark died after beaching itself in Plymouth on Thursday night, hours it after a pair of sharks were spotted swimming close to a nearby beach.
A shark, 20-25 feet in size, was spotted off White Horse Beach. According to the Harbormaster, officials believe the shark was a basking shark, which is second in size to a whale shark, and so big that it was originally mistaken for two smaller sharks.
“It was one shark, and it was actually the back fin and the tail fin that were in the water; they said about 21 feet to 25 feet long,” said Drina Kimmel, who saw the shark.
Basking sharks are filter feeders and generally not a threat to humans.
"It's a harmless animal. It unfortunately navigated poorly last night. It was feeding here last night and got in too close to shore and drowned," said Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries Greg Skomal.
Basking sharks are filter feeders with no teeth.
It has been a summer full of sightings, tagging and beach closures from Fairhaven to Scituate, including great whites off of Chatham, where two more were spotted last Thursday.
Authorities are cautioning beachgoers to be on the lookout, particularly due to the threat to boaters and kayakers.
“Since they had sightings in Chatham, why wouldn’t we have them around here?” said one woman.
The spectacle drew even more people to the shore, who wanted to catch a glimpse of an extremely rare sight in these waters.
"Nothing like this has ever happened here before. I've been here 20 years and I've never heard of something like this," said Cassi Costa, a nearby resident.
Authorities will be monitoring the situation, and they will advise if there are going to be any beach closures.
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