SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBS 2) — Some beachgoers got their own personal version of Shark Week in Seaside Park on Friday. The close encounter was caught on camera.
A 5-foot shark swam ashore before quickly heading back out to sea causing quite a scare and forcing swimmers out of the water.
Apparently hungry, and chasing his dinner a blue shark beached itself briefly at 11th Avenue in Seaside Park, startling beach visitors, who were screaming with excitement — It happened at 2:45 p.m. Friday.
“We heard sightings but it was like wow too see it that close. It was an exciting … you know, a little scary,” Eileen McCarthy of Chicago told CBS 2’s Cydney Long.
“I think it’s pretty dangerous. There were people still in the ocean right over there,” added Sam Mitterhauf of Washington D.C.
A New York woman on vacation captured the amateur video, and lifeguards took several photos of the juvenile blue shark.
“Apparently a fisherman caught a fish on a line. The shark was chasing it,” said Melissa Nick of the Seaside Park Beach Patrol.
After his photo-shoot, the shark swam back out to sea and headed south. Lifeguards kept swimmers out of the water for about two hours.
“We whistled everyone out of the water. It is a predator. We want our patrons to be safe, but nobody got bit or hurt. I’ve been here a long time, never a shark attack,” lifeguard Heather Clancy said.
Dominick Tiseo of the Bronx said he is keeping an eye out for his family. This as beaches were open for swimming Monday and no fins in sight.
When asked if he was prepared to wrestle with the shark, Tiseo mused, “I probably will. I got my bowie knife. I’ll be okay.”
Experts said sharks are not typically spotted so close to shore, but it is possible the animal was disoriented.