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August 20. 2013 7:52PM

Officials close Rye beach after reported shark sighting


RYE — Wallis Sands State Beach is closed until at least today after a possible shark sighting on Tuesday afternoon.

Amy Bassett, spokesperson for the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation, said the assistant manager at the beach spotted what he believes to be an 8-foot shark following a school of stripers in about 4 feet of water off the beach.


The waters at Wallis Sands were evacuated before 3 p.m. and Bassett said water access is being prohibited until at least today.

Everyone else along the coast is also on heightened alert, especially at Hampton Beach.


"Our lifeguards are in the tower and in the chairs making sure there is nothing out there," Bassett said.

The United States Coast Guard has been called in to help look for the possible shark to confirm the sighting.


"If it is in the area then we will have even more heightened alert and making sure we are paying attention and making those calls if we will open again (today). If it is a shark and it stays in the area, obviously we'll reassess our plan in the morning," Bassett said.


gmacalaster@newstote.com


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