After a young great white shark ended up on the beach of Chatham, Massachusetts unable to return back into the water, beachgoers who were in the area noticed the struggling marine animal and started to splash it with water helping it to stay alive while help was on its way.
Isabelle Hegland, one of the people who witnessed the incident, was with her family on a boat when they saw a several people surrounding what appeared to be a beached dolphin. But when they got closer to the crowd and the beach they saw that it wasn’t a dolphin but a young great white shark that somehow ended up in shallow water and couldn’t go back to deeper water. Hegland told the local news that the shark was on its back in no more than 3 feet of water, and it was thrashing its body trying to keep the gills wet.
It didn’t take long for the tide to retreat and the young great white ended up on the sand with no water around it. That’s when the beachgoers that witnessed the incident started to splash buckets of water on the animal to keep it alive until a rescue team from Harbormaster arrived at the scene.
When Stuart Smith from Harbormaster arrived, he called a boat to drag the shark back into the deep water. According to Cynthia Wigren, who works from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, the young great white shark’s condition was very poor when she and her colleagues arrived at the scene. The rescue team did their best to try and get the shark back into the water in a forward motion because that’s how the great whites irrigate their gills, said Wigren.
Dr. Greg Skomal, a biologist at the Division of Marine Fisheries, managed to tag the shark and tied a line around its body. After that, the rescue team brought the animal to the side of their boat and started to drag it forward.
Wigren told the news that the rescue team was very concerned about the shark’s health condition especially since they saw that the shark sank when they let go of its back fin. But when the rescuers saw the animal’s mouth moving they knew it will be ok. The shark was given more line so it could swim by itself towards deeper water.
As soon as the young great white shark started swimming by itself and appeared to have regained its strength, the rescue team released it from the rope.
Image Source: bbc