Sunday, September 2, 2007

Gotta love NYers

It began at 10:56 am September 1 2007 near Beach 109th St, at Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York City NY. Swimmers alerted lifeguards to the ominous fin and the shape they could see moving in the water near the beach.

"I saw the fin, and I was like,'Oh my God!'" stated Keith DeLorenzo, who was boogeyboarding in the water.

The fin belonged to a six-foot-long thresher shark who became beached. Instead of running screaming from the beach, several beachgoers mustered up the nerve to push the shark back into the water. I am assuming that it was just quicker to shove it back into the water than attempt to hail a cab for it to head for Broadway. Hans Walters of the New York Aquarium stated that their decision could save the shark's life.

"They gave him a shot. I'm not saying he's not going to wash up again - he might. But that's really the best thing to do for him," stated Walters.

The thresher shark is most common in temperate waters and while it ranges from Newfoundland to Cuba, it is considered rare in the waters below New England. They are a highly migratory species and are most commonly spotted far from shore. The thresher is most commonly seen on the surfaces of the oceans but it has also been known to inhabit waters up to 1,800 feet deep.

They can reach 25 feet in length and weigh 750 pounds and as adults, they have no known predator. They feed mostly on boney fish, with bluefish and butterfish being their favorite meal. They hunt in groups or pairs, encircling the schools and then stunning the fish with their tails. Threshers are considered harmless to humans but they have been known to kill seabirds with their tails.

Threshers are said to be shy and difficult to approach and divers report that they aren't aggressive when met underwater. They have been known to attack boats though. Not much is known about the actual worldwide numbers of threshers but it is believed that their numbers have been staying fairly steady since 2000.

After the shark's shove-off, swimmers were ordered to stay out of the water between Beach 107th and 121st Sts. by the Parks Department. Officials haven't decided if they will lift the ban for the rest of the Labor Day weekend. The shark was last spotted swimming in the waters off Beach 113th St at about 1 pm Saturday afternoon.

It would seem that this is one out of town tourist who was left with a touch of the good in New Yorkers.


Sadly, even though beachgoers had shoved him back to the water, the thresher shark who beached itself yesterday, has washed ashore.......... dead. It's 5 foot-long body was found at about 6 am August 2 at Beach 113th St in Rockaway, Queens, according to the Parks Department.

"It is presumed that, despite yesterday's rescue efforts, this was the same shark seen yesterday in this location," stated parks officials.

The shark could be seen for several hours just offshore yesterday and beaches had been closed for the day. They reopened today at 10 am and will close for the season on Tuesday, along with city pools.

No comments: