White Shark Spotted By Fishermen Off Northern Mass Coast?

The Beast is in Minneapolis for a week so he’s a bit behind the curve (no sharks in Minnesota) – however he came across this (buried) story today:

Shark sighting? Mysterious fish raises great white worries

By Stephen Tait


Chris Santarelli thinks he knows why the bluefish weren’t biting Wednesday.

Fishing about a mile outside the mouth of Merrimack River — near the large red buoy designated MR — Santarelli said he saw the biggest fish in his three decades of fishing, a marine creature he said reminded him of the movie “Jaws.”

“It was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It was as big as my boat. I am almost sure it was a great white.

“There is a ton of bluefish around, and I’m sure that is why it is around. It was right where we’ve been catching blue fish for days, and there were none there.”

Santarelli, of Rowley, said the shark was at least 15 feet long and “the diameter of a 50-gallon drum.”

When it swam past the boat, “I saw the fin; it was 2 feet out of the water,” he said.

He said the shark was dark on top and light-colored underneath.

“I fish almost every other day, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “It was like right out of ‘Jaws,’ it was that big. It was so big, I just wanted to get out of there.

“This thing was humongous. It looked just like the one hanging at Hudson’s (marine shop in Salisbury).”

The local report comes after officials on Cape Cod issued shark warnings in recent days following the discovery of two seal carcasses that washed up on the beaches there, likely the result of great white shark attacks.

Newburyport is right on the border of Salisbury Mass and the New Hampshire beaches. The Merrimack is a very large river and we all know that river mouths are favorite hunting spots for Whites and other sharks. Fishing is excellent in the Merrimack, too; the Beast wades out onto the sandbars there every year for Stripers and Bluefish. Lots to eat there.

Fishing buddies are reporting lots of dead seals all along the coast, with chomps taken out of them like corn on the cob. It’s white shark central around here. Fortunately the swimming season will be over in just a few weeks, so hopefully nobody gets bitten.



  1. Cap'n Sean
    Posted August 19, 2007 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I started checking in with this site after coming home from Truro, MA last week. I was swimming with a large group of friends off the ocean coast when we saw a few seals. I told everybody that seals = white sharks and got out of the water. Everybody else just laughed it off. When I got back I read the reports of the seal attacks in Chatham (we stopped there for a bit too) and almost shit my pants. Anyway, shark news always gets my attention. As for no sharks in Minnesota, check this link out:

    Shark Tales No More. Live Sharks Caught in Minnehaha Creek:

  2. Posted August 19, 2007 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Cap’n a prudent decision. Not only is it a bad idea to swim too close to seals, it’s also actually illegal because they enjoy federal protection. Next time you see your friends tell them this:

    Aug. 20, 2003: Deborah Franzman was swimming at the surface among a group of pinnipeds — seals or sea lions — off Avila Pier on the central California coast, when a great white shark, estimated to be 15 to 18 feet long, grabbed her leg. It stripped the flesh from her left thigh, severing the femoral artery. She was briefly pulled below the surface and then released. When lifeguards reached her a few minutes later, she was facedown in the water. Authorities said she had bled to death.

    Franzman, A 50-year-old college instructor, swam there several times a week and particularly enjoyed playing with the seals.

    From this incident, two conclusions come to mind:

    1. Ms. Franzman swam with seals for years without incident, so it can’t really be THAT risky.
    2. On the other hand, it caught up to her eventually, didn’t it? All it takes is one massive hit to ruin your day.

    Oh, and thanks for the link. Sharks are everywhere…

  3. freespiritedkev
    Posted August 20, 2007 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon Beast,

    Great august filler shark month blog.

    Anyway thought I’d share this with you about sharks caught near my hometown of Alton,Il on the mississippi. Now granted its no Great white but consider the distance it travel from the gulf ofmexico yes sharks can survive in fresh water.

    anyway enjoy the link

    P.S. the Queen of mean Leaona Helmsley died since we’re talking about sharks

  4. Crystal
    Posted August 30, 2007 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    There were at least two GIANT sharks at Salisbury beach today. Everyone saw them. They were about 500 feet from shore. One appeared to be either sick or dying as it was rolling over showing its enormous white belly and other times it’s fin was up out of the water.

    Funniest thing is we brought our neice with us and it was her first time going to the ocean. All last night she kept saying she didn’t want to go because there are sharks in the ocean. We kept telling her that there wouldn’t be any there. Sure enough the first thing when we get there someone points out the sharks. We even looked at them with binoculars. I tried to get pictures but am not sure if I caught them or not yet, we just got home.

    This was all at about 2:30 this afternoon.

  5. Posted August 31, 2007 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Crystal, was the fin a sharp, pointy triangle or was it rounded at the top?

    If rounded it was a basking shark – which get quite big but are essentially harmless. When you get the pics, the Beast would love to see.

  6. g b
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 12:28 am | Permalink


    I swim off Lighthouse Beach Chatham, MA. Over the last 10 eyars, the seal population has exploded. There are now an estimated 9000 seals living off the shores here. The avereage seal consumes 30 pounds of seafood each day. The average seal weigh between 400-600 pounds.

    Chatham WAS a fishing village….not anymore! Seals have cleaned out many varieties of fish stock. Yes, there are Great Whites in Chatham. I have photos of last summer’s carcass….huge jaw marks and distinctive tooth marks impressed into the remains of seal.

    While I do continue swimming at Lighthouse Beach, I avoid riding waves with the seals. I don’t want to resemble a “moving buffet.” I figure the rip tides and currents are far more threatening than Great Whites………

  7. Anonymous
    Posted July 3, 2010 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    when did you find the shark

  8. Posted June 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

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