OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A 300-pound hammerhead shark that’s been visiting Ocean City appears to be in no hurry to leave.
Alex DeMetrick reports on what might have brought it to Maryland’s seashore.
The hammerhead shark has moved beyond Ocean City’s beach and into Assateague Bay. Footage posted on Facebook captures it swimming just below the surface.
“It is exhibiting fairly abnormal behavior–exaggerated swimming, not swimming normally, up near the surface–so there’s something apparently wrong with this fish,” said Alan Henningsen, National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Henningsen is the National Aquarium’s fishes research specialist and says the shark’s behavior may be from an injury. As to what brought it to Ocean City:
“This is right time of year for pregnant females to be giving birth to young, and they do that near shore,” said Henningsen.
On Monday, a pregnant hammerhead that had been caught by a fisherman washed up on Ocean City’s beach. Dying, she gave birth to pups volunteers collected and released back into the ocean.
Then Wednesday, the second hammerhead appeared to so close it almost beached. It spent Thursday cruising just off shore.
The Ocean City Beach Patrol tracked its progress up and down the coast, clearing swimmers from the water as it approached–not that many were willing to swim too far out.
“We’re not too worried about it. We don’t go in too deep,” said Kristin Smith, O.C. visitor.
Many sharks look dangerous, but hammerheads:
“If you compare them to the number of unprovoked attacks, white sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks, they’re down that list. Not a species you’d be very concerned about,” said Henningsen.
The statistics are even better here.
“And you’ve never had a shark attack in Ocean City?” asked DeMetrick.
“Not only in Ocean City–anywhere in Maryland,” Captin Butch Arbin, Ocean City Beach Patrol, replied.
But as a precaution, people will still be moved out of the water whenever the hammerhead is spotted close by.
Experts are also urging people to leave the shark alone, especially if it is acting abnormally.