It was a bright sunny day in Ocean City -- people were out enjoying themselves-- and then this happened
"We had a large shark wash up...it was dead...it was probably about 5 and a half feet. Washed up on the beach up north and it was a nice beach day so we had a nice beach population."
A shark laying in the water on the beach. No explanation.
Immediately - Lifeguards were alerted and first responders came to clean up the mess.
"It was floating out in the water and two of the lifeguards pulled it in up on the beach like we would with anything we contacted public works and they came and picked it up"
Officials think the lifeless animal was a threatened species.
"We think it was a sand tiger shark. I don't think there's any danger. I think the way the bottom of the ocean is here in ocean city there's not really a lot of food for sharks."
Professor Eric May of University of Maryland Eastern Shore says this type of shark is a cousin of the Great White --- but unlike its bigger badder relative the sand tiger shark is not really a threat to people.
"Generally they're placid...there have been reports of attacks few and far between and so even though they may be related to the great white there have no fatalities associated with the sand tiger."
May says this type of shark feeds on crustaceans and small fish in shallow water --which might explain why he was so close to shore when he was discovered.
Marine experts say shark sitings in Ocean City are rare -- but advise everyone to alert a lifeguard if you see a shark fin nearby.
Erica Murphy. 47 ABC.
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