Seeing three sharks and about 100 stingrays while flying over Fernandina Beach waters prompted Jeffrey Bunch
, deputy chief of the Fernandina Beach Fire Department
, to close the beach for about an hour Monday and two hours Tuesday.
I was concerned because they were right offshore , he
said two of the sharks were about 8 feet long and another was between 12 and 15 feet long.They were swimming just north of the pier at South Fletcher Avenue and could be seen from shore , Bunch
flew the coastline , he
said , because he
had heard of so many land sightings of sharks.
Bait fish enticed the sharks and stingrays to come near shore , he
They are always out there , they just usually don't come in that close , Bunch said.
Sharks have attracted more attention than usual in Fernandina Beach since an 18-year-old visitor from Cincinnati was bitten on the foot while boogie-boarding in waist-deep water on the south end of Amelia Island in July , Bunch
That was the first attack here in 10 years , he
grew up in Fernandina Beach and is used to shark sightings.
I've swam within 10 feet of them many times , he
said.They've never really bothered me ; when I saw them I just quietly left the area..
But some surfers and kayakers who played in Main Beach's surf Monday and Tuesday reported that they had encountered aggressive sharks.
A few surfers said they were being harassed [ by a shark ] and a kayaker said the shark , which was longer than his
kayak , followed him all the way back to shore , Bunch said.
Sharks aren't usually that aggressive , Bunch
I think they know the difference between a person and a fish , he
said.If a shark bites someone , it's usually a rogue shark or a mistake..
E-mail this story to a friendPost a comment on this storyPrint this storySearch Tips - Use + to require word , - to omit.