New York officials are trying to determine if a dead thesher shark discovered on a Queens beach Sunday morning is the same fish that caused a minor panic among swimmers and sunbathers when it swam to shore, MyFoxNY reported.
Swimmers and sunbathers at Rockaway Beach, N.Y., were enjoying a peaceful day of sun and sand Saturday when the tell-tale sign of a dorsal fin slicing through the waves sparked a panic. The fin belonged to a 7-foot thresher shark that was caught in the surf, seemingly determined to swim onto the shore instead of back out to sea.
Fear soon turned to fascination as the thresher got stuck on the sand and had to be helped back to sea by lifeguards and beachgoers, many of whom had never seen a shark before. One beachgoer caught the shark on videotape. Officials confirmed Sunday that a similar shark was found dead on the shore Sunday near the spot where Saturday's shark had swam to shore. They do not know yet if it is the same shark.
While the shark was a scary and shocking sight in Rockaway, threshers are actually common off the Atlantic coast and are known to swim toward shore. They are large sharks that can grow to 18 feet long, and Rockaway's shark was believed to be a baby that got caught in fishing lines and freed itself far from home. Thrashers eat only other fish, and no one was injured during the incident.