Beachgoers shrug off shark report to enjoy one more splash of summer
Kara Colarusso, a lifeguard at Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye, keeps an eye on swimmers Wednesday afternoon. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader)
With sunny skies and temperatures near 90 degrees, sunbathers weren't deterred by Tuesday's report of a possible shark lurking just off the beach.
A possible shark sighting at Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye Tuesday didn’t seem to faze many beach-goers who took advantage of Wednesday’s warm temperatures to squeeze in another beach day before the summer season winds down. (JASON SCHREIBER)
Swimming was restricted for a time on Tuesday, but the restrictions were lifted Wednesday.
Knight and his buddy, Mark Schultz of Exeter, were fishing within two miles of Hampton Beach a few weeks ago in their boat, the Nina May, when they caught a large porbeagle shark. Knight said the shark was about 8 feet long and likely weighed between 700 and 800 pounds.
Before catching that shark and later releasing it, the pair hooked two other sharks but they broke free, Knight said.
"It seemed as if every place we went we landed on top of them," Knight said.
"There's certainly a lot of them out there," he said.
It's not known whether the shark Knight and Schultz caught is the same one or similar to the one possibly seen in Rye, but, Knight said, "it's certainly capable of being closer to the shore."
"I'm not worried about it," said Heather Scholl, who spent the day at Wallis Sands with her two children, ages 8 and 10.
"There's more of a risk driving here," the Portsmouth man said.
Clark Stuart of Durham said he wasn't aware of this week's reported sighting, but he wasn't too concerned because his children, ages 3 and 7, stay close to the shore.
New Hampshire's beaches are expected to be busy once again with more heat and humidity on tap for Thursday.
Temperatures are expected to reach the upper 80s before a frontal boundary swings through overnight with a chance of some rain in the mountains and along the coastal plain, according to Andy Pohl, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
"It's going to be a wonderful weekend. It'll be a nice prelude to fall," Pohl said.
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