Marisu Mironescu, 39, had been working as a lifeguard all those years and this year, just as the season was closing on the Coney Island beach where he was working this year, the call went out. About 75 to 100 people had circled around the hapless swimmer and he could see them lashing out, hitting and punching him. Mironescu hit the water to rescue him from the mob.
"They were holding onto it and some people were actually hitting him, smacking his face. Well, I wasn't going to let them hurt the poor thing," stated Mironescu.
The beachgoers had circled around a 2 foot-long sand shark and quite unlike this weekends other shark encounter, this poor fish had spooked swimmers into "teaching it a lesson." Mironescu grabbed the little shark in his arms and backstroked out to sea with him.
Sand sharks are generally spotted in the northernmost edge of their range, from Deleware to Cape Cod MA. The largest recorded sand shark was 10 feet 5 inches long from southwestern Florida. They are a trim and voracious eater, known to tear open fishing nets full of bluefish, devore great numbers of smaller fish as well as lobster, crabs and squid.
They are fairly sluggish though and live mostly along the bottom eating more at night than by day. During the summer months it is known to swim slowly along the surface and hug the coastline, coming as close as the tideline along the beaches. They are by far the most common of their shark family and the New England waters are it's summer home each year.
There are no known attacks of sand sharks on humans in North American waters, though, swimmers often come in close contact with them. They are generally considered a harmless nuisance on the New England shores, although it's relatives in the East Indiand waters have a much more deadly reputation.
Mironescu stated that the shark was pretending to be dead when he grabbed him up but he started to wiggle his body and try to bite him at some point. He set the little guy lose in deeper waters and headed back to shore, leaving the junior "Jaws" to escape the angry mob of swimmers.
It certainly would have been an "interesting" episode to watch, if he in fact is that "chiseled."