CHATHAM (CBS) – A great white shark was found stranded on a beach in Chatham Monday. The seven and-half foot shark was found on a sandbar at low tide.
It was in an area that was only reachable by boat, but the unusual sighting drew a crowd of people.
One eyewitness says the group banded together to help keep the shark alive.
“The shark was stuck there for a while in the sand, so then people got buckets and were trying keep it wet so it could continue to breathe,” said Isabelle Hegland.
Witnesses say the shark came out of the water when it was attempting to eat a seagull.
“I was a little afraid but I could tell it wasn’t moving anytime soon because the shore was going way out, it was approaching towards low tide so it was becoming increasingly difficult for the shark to keep its gills wet and be able to breathe,” Hegland says.
That’s when shark expert Greg Skomal showed up. Skomal and his team were able to revive the juvenile shark and get it back out to sea
“Still alive but very sluggish, barely moving, so we put a tag on it,” Skomal said, “and then resuscitated the shark by putting a bridle around it and with the harbormaster’s help put it out into deeper water where we were able to resuscitate it and let it go.”
Skomal and his team are accustomed to dealing with great whites that are a bit bigger and in more robust health.
This time it was basically a toddler great white that had lost its way. Hegland and others kept the shark alive by splashing water on its gills.
“We felt really bad for it,” Hegland said. “It was just trying to get some food so we didn’t want it to die.”
The shark was tagged by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. It is the third white shark tagged off Chatham this year.