On Friday, passerby’s noticed a great white shark stranded on at Santa Cruz’s Pleasure Point.
While it is unclear how the shark made its way so close to the shore, it is unfortunately likely that the shark will not survive his beaching within the cove.
In an attempt to rescue the shark, Pelagic Research Shark Foundation Executive Director Sean Van Sommeran cited the incoming waves as a major obstacle in returning the shark to deep water.
“The shark’s still there,” Van Sommeran said. “The swell keeps washing it back in after we released it twice.” Van Sommeran noted that upon the death of the shark, his carcass would be used for scientific purposes at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Van Sommeran reported that the shark is currently beached in area that had risen during the rising of the tide, though it has since leveled. While the return of the tide may seem ideal for a rescue, Van Sommeran said a heightening depth wouldn’t be enough for the shark to readjust and swim back to the ocean. A high tide also makes it more dangerous for rescuers to approach the shark.
Santa Cruz resident Mark Shwartz was one of the first to see the stranded shark. “At first, I didn’t know what it was. I thought maybe it was a dolphin,” Shwartz said. “When I got close, it was clearly a shark. It was flailing and there was a photographer at the water. I bet he got some interesting photos.”
Van Sommeran clarified Shwartz’s observation, saying the photographer was actually working for the California Department of Wildlife.
“I don’t think there was anything that could be done to save it,” Shwartz said. “Something was wrong. I don’t know if it was injured or sick.”
A view of the shark can be seen below:
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