Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bull Shark Prompts Closure of Bay Beach

Bull shark spotted at Sandy Point
A sighting of a bull shark off Sandy Point State Park Monday prompted a brief closure of one of the swimming areas, but the park's manager said the popular Chesapeake Bay beach returned to "business as usual" on Tuesday after seeing no more of the wide-ranging predator.

Ranger Steve McCoy, Sandy Point's manager, said a fisherman reported seeing a small bull shark around 5:30 p.m. Monday near the east beach. A ranger walked out on the rock jetty jutting into the water and confirmed seeing some type of shark, McCoy said, so park personnel moved "a handful of people" to the lifeguard-monitored main beach in another area of the park and kept a close watch on the shark.

On Tuesday, with Sandy Point lifeguards on the lookout and no further sighting of the shark, McCoy said the park "went back to business as usual."

Bull shark sightings are not uncommon in the bay, McCoy said, but "that one was a little closer than we've seen for a while." A large pair was caught last year in a net near Point Lookout in the mouth of the Potomac River. Though bull sharks are reputed to be aggressive, there have been no attacks reported on humans in state waters. . . .
 . . .yet.

FWIW, although Bull Sharks are well up there in the ranks of shark attacks, shark attacks are very rare given the fact that sharks are relatively common. But they are unpredictable:

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