Posted For: Willie Wonka
By Ben Cost
They looked as if they were going to crawl up on land.
Large sharks were spotted swimming next to the shore in Florida Saturday, prompting beach-goers to evacuate. Footage of the shallow-water sharknado is making waves online amid a spike in attacks and sightings along the Eastern Seaboard.
The “Jaws”-dropping clip, filmed Saturday at Neptune Beach in Jacksonville, per Fox News, shows several large sharks of indeterminate species cruising through the shallows mere feet from the beach where kids are playing. Elsewhere in the clip, swimmers can be seen standing in the drink as two men are escorted to shore by a yellow lifeguard float.
At one point, a bystander can be heard shouting “Get out of the water” in a scene straight out of “Jaws.”
The clip — which coincidentally coincides with Discovery’s annual Shark Week programming — comes amid an unverified report that a man had been attacked that same day at a Jacksonville beach, with eyewitnesses claiming his leg had been left in “shreds,” according to Jam Press. Supposed bystanders claimed they saw the man gesturing for help followed by blood filling the sea — though these reports have yet to appear in local media.
Veracity of the attack notwithstanding, there has been a rash of sharktivity along the East Coast of late. Last week, alarming drone footage showed sharks — including great whites — circling in the water 100 feet away from the beaches of Long Island.
This followed an uptick in sightings, which prompted authorities to shut beaches across the region.
Long Island has also seen a rash of attacks this month, including an incident two weeks ago in which 16-year-old Max Haynes was bitten on the foot while surfing near Kismet Beach on Fire Island.
Thankfully, in most of the instances, it was unlikely the sharks were looking at the victims as lunch. “One thing to keep in mind is sharks are not out there trying to eat surfers and swimmers,” said Chris Paparo of the South Fork Natural History Museum’s shark research team. “They’d much rather eat fish, but in many cases they mistake us for their actual prey. When they do bite, they usually move on.”