Extremely Rare: Maine Swimmer Killed in Shark Attack

It may have been a great white, expert says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2020 4:00 AM CDT
Extremely Rare: Maine Swimmer Killed in Shark Attack
In this Dec. 21, 2005, file photo, lobster boats are tied to their moorings at Bailey Island, Maine.   (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, File)

In what an expert says is a tragic first in Maine, a swimmer was killed in a shark attack Monday afternoon. The woman was swimming off Bailey Island in Harpswell when she was attacked; two kayakers brought her and another woman who was swimming with her to shore. The victim died on scene; the other woman was not injured. "Shark interactions with humans are very rare in Maine," the expert says, per the Press-Herald. "My guess is that the person was mistaken as a food item. In this area of Maine and depending on how close to shore the event occurred, my guess is it was a [great] white shark."

He says more great white sharks are migrating north to Maine from Cape Cod as the hunt for food around the cape gets more competitive. A seal was attacked by a shark nearby on Sunday; the 19-inch bite mark left on the animal could only have been made by a shark at least 11 feet long, the expert says. It may have been the same shark that attacked the swimmer the following day. Maine Marine Patrol is urging swimmers to use caution in the area, and to avoid swimming near schools of fish, WMTW reports. (More shark attack stories.)

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