Dead Shark Carcass on Beach Makes Rhode Island Officials Keep People Out of the Water

Why was the beach shut down? Was there a theory that the water is contaminated?

Here’s a little more from the report:

Marine officials confirmed that the shark was in fact a Great White and weighs about 1700 lbs.

The state’s shark expert Greg Skomal said he was rather surprised to find the the carcass was that of a Great White.

“We’re thinking it’s a basking shark at first because they do wash ashore quite a bit,” he said. “But this is clearly a White Shark and it catches us a little off guard because we don’t typically see them up on the beach.”

No surprise; the discovery caught neighbors off guard as well.

“We thought it was limited to areas that had seals so we’re surprised it’s here,” said Karen Green, Westport homeowner


The neighboring South Shore Goosewing Beach in Little Compton was closed as a result of the find.

It’s unclear how the shark died. Marine experts will try to determine the cause. They will also dissect the carcass for scientific research.

“It will be a formal dissection,” Skomal said. “We’ll be looking at its reproductive system, taking sections of its backbone, [and] looking at its stomach. [We are] trying to learn about its biology from various aspects.”

So … why was the water closed? People were clearly allowed to siddle up to a carcass which may or may not be contaminated but they weren’t allowed in the water? Overcautious government functionaries or is something odd going on?

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