Fatal Great White Shark Attack Along Maine's Midcoast

Roccus7

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Started up this in the Headline thread, but figured it was time to make it its own thread...

This is new, first confirmation of a fatality...

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The Maine Marine Patrol is investigating the fatality of a woman today near Bailey Island. According to Marine Patrol, an eye witness reported that the woman was swimming off the shore near White Sails Lane when she was injured in what appeared to be a shark attack. Kayakers nearby brought her to shore and EMS responders were called to the scene where she was pronounced deceased. No other information is available at this time and the investigation into the incident is continuing. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Until further notice, swimmers and boaters are urged to use caution near Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near schooling fish or seals.

The identity of the woman is being withheld pending notification of family.
 
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Roccus7

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Today's update in the Portland Press Herald...



Woman swimming off Harpswell killed by shark in 1st such Maine fatality
pressherald.com/2020/07/27/person-injured-in-shark-attack-off-harpswell/

By Dennis Hoey Staff WriterJuly 27, 2020



A woman swimming off Bailey Island in Harpswell on Monday afternoon was attacked and killed by a shark in what one expert says is the first such fatality recorded in Maine waters.

The woman has not been identified pending notification of her family.

She was swimming offshore near homes on White Sails Lane when a witness saw her being attacked by what appeared to be a shark, the Maine Marine Patrol said.

Two kayakers brought the victim and another woman to shore, where a crew of Harpswell emergency responders met them. The woman died at the scene.

The second woman, who was swimming with the victim, was not injured, said Jeff Nichols, a marine patrol spokesman.

“This is the first documented fatality ever in Maine,” James Sulikowski, a former University of New England professor and researcher who conducts shark research in Maine and locations worldwide, said in an interview Monday evening. “Shark interactions with humans are very rare in Maine.

“My guess is that the person was mistaken as a food item. In this area of Maine and depending on how close to shore the event occurred, my guess is it was a white shark.”

In October 2010, a man diving off the coast of Eastport said an 8-foot shark attacked him after it apparently mistook his camera for food. The diver was able to fend off the shark with his camera, and took video of the encounter. In the video, the shark’s teeth fill the frame before it swims off.

Sulikowski, whose shark research experience spans more than 25 years, currently works with Maine fishermen, who help him collect data on shark species. The data may help scientists and researchers better understand how the shark population is affecting commercial fisheries.

One thing has become clear to him – more great white sharks are migrating north to Maine from Cape Cod as the competition for food resources on the Cape intensifies. His research has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” show, on NBC’s “Today” show and on “Ocean Mysteries” with Jeff Corwin.

Sulikowski said it was only a matter of time before a conflict between humans and sharks took place due to the state’s healthy population of seals – a shark delicacy. Sulikowski is fairly certain the victim’s attacker was a great white shark, a large predatory animal that can reach lengths of more than 17 feet. More of the white sharks have been seen off the coast of Maine in recent years, he said. White sharks are fast swimmers and can reach Maine in one day from the waters off Cape Cod.

The shark that attacked the woman in Harpswell may have been the same shark that attacked a seal in Phippsburg on Sunday. That attack left a a 19-inch long bite mark – the seal was not eaten– that could only have been made by a shark 11 feet long or larger, he said.

Great white sharks, also known as white sharks, are known as ambush predators. They can travel at high speeds and like to sneak up on their prey. Sulikowski said white sharks have been known to swim below the surface before rocketing upward like a torpedo and striking their unsuspecting prey with as much force as possible.

The Cumberland County Communications Center received a call for help from Harpswell at 3:29 p.m. Monday, a county dispatcher said.

Sheriff Kevin Joyce said deputies responded along with members of the marine patrol. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a boat from its South Portland base, but it turned around after learning the victim had been brought to shore by the kayakers. Joyce said there is no beach at White Sails Lane, which is near Land’s End in Harpswell.

The investigation is continuing and more information will be provided as it becomes available, the marine patrol said. The state agency is urging swimmers and boaters to use caution near Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near schools of fish or seals.

Sulikowski also urged caution, warning people not to swim near seals.

“We can easily be mistaken for a seal … as a shark’s dinner,” he said.

According to the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File, there has been only one recorded report of an unprovoked shark attack in Maine – the scuba diver in Eastport. The ISAF is the only scientifically documented, comprehensive database of all known shark attacks. It was established in 1958 and has investigated more than 6,500 reports of shark attacks dating back hundreds of years.

The ISAF recommends that people swim in groups, not wear shiny or reflective swimwear, stay close to shore and avoid swimming during darkness or twilight hours to avoid shark attacks.
 
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Roccus7

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Victim''s from NY...


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The Maine Department of Marine Resource has identified the woman who died yesterday from shark attack near Bailey Island as Julie Dimperio Holowach, 63, of New York City.

Maine DMR Commissioner will conduct a press conference today to provide additional information into the incident.

The press conference will be at noon at the Augusta DMR offices at 32 Blossom Lane, Marquardt Building, Augusta
 

Roccus7

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Latest summary

New York woman killed in Maine’s first fatal shark attack
pressherald.com/2020/07/28/new-york-woman-killed-in-maines-first-fatal-shark-attack/

By Gillian Graham Staff Writer and Reuben SchafirJuly 28, 2020



A 63-year-old New York City woman died in a shark attack Monday afternoon near Bailey island.

Julie Dimperio Holowach was identified Tuesday as the victim of what is the first documented fatal shark attack in Maine. The only other recorded report of an unprovoked attack involved a scuba diver in Eastport in 2010, according to the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File. The diver was not inured and fended off the shark with his video camera.

Additional information about the attack off Harpswell is expected to be provided later Tuesday during a press conference with officials from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

“This is the first documented fatality ever in Maine,” James Sulikowski, a former University of New England professor and researcher who conducts shark research in Maine and locations worldwide, said in an interview Monday evening. “Shark interactions with humans are very rare in Maine. My guess is that the person was mistaken for a food item. In this area of Maine and depending on how close to shore the event occurred, my guess is it was a white shark.”

The woman was swimming offshore near homes on White Sails Lane on Bailey Island in Harpswell on Monday afternoon when she was attacked. Two kayakers brought the victim and another woman to shore, where they were met by a crew of Harpswell first responders. The woman died at the scene.

The second woman was not injured, according to the Maine Marine Patrol.

The marine patrol is urging swimmers and boaters to use caution near Bailey Island and to avoid swimming near schools of fish or seals.

Jeff Cooper, director of fun and co-founder of H2Outfitters in Orr’s Island, said the people who rescued the women were using a tandem kayak from H2Outfitters. He did not know their names but described them as being from out of the country and on vacation. Cooper picked up the kayak Monday night and spoke briefly to them about the incident.

“It was traumatic for the people who had the courage to go out there and retrieve them. There was a lot of blood in the water,” he said. “They had strong character to go out there and do that. They did what had to be done. We should all be thankful people like that exist.”

Cooper said he has never seen a shark during his 40 years of boating, but has heard from local fishermen that they occasionally see tiger sharks in the area. He first heard of the attack Monday afternoon over a scanner and said first responders described a woman with damage to her stomach after being “attacked by something.” He drove to a small local beach to warn swimmers to get out of the water.

H2Outfitters runs a children’s summer camp that is cancelled Tuesday because of the shark attack. Cooper said it’s likely activities for the rest of the week will be adjusted to keep kids out of the water. The staff will also contact anyone who has rented a kayak from H2Outfitters to warn them about the attack and urge them to use extra caution on the water.

“I think people should be concerned,” Cooper said. “They need to pay attention, especially with a threat you can’t see in the water.”

Sulikowski is fairly certain the victim’s attacker was a great white shark, a large predatory animal that can reach lengths of more than 17 feet. More of the white sharks have been seen off the coast of Maine in recent years, he said. White sharks are fast swimmers and can reach Maine in one day from the waters off Cape Cod.

Great white sharks, also known as white sharks, are known as ambush predators. They can travel at high speeds and like to sneak up on their prey. Sulikowski said white sharks have been known to swim below the surface before rocketing upward like a torpedo and striking their unsuspecting prey with as much force as possible.

The shark that attacked the woman in Harpswell may have been the same shark that attacked a seal in Phippsburg on Sunday. That attack left a a 19-inch long bite mark – the seal was not eaten– that could only have been made by a shark 11 feet long or larger, Sulikowski said.
 

Roccus7

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Latest from the Portland Press Herald, confirmation of Great White Shark and beaches being closed...


Maine’s Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that Holowach was attacked by a shark and a scientist determined it was a great white based on a tooth fragment, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The department urged people recreating in the water to avoid schools of fish or seals, which can attract sharks.

Beaches at Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg and Reid State Park in Georgetown have been posted as wading only, according to the Department of Marine Resources.
 

JoeBfishing

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For you nautically curious, here's the area of the attack...

View attachment 22627
That area circled looks like it would have some strong currents? But, I must be mistaking with swimming, kayak activities going on. I used to swim inside the outer beach in Chatham. Not the last few years with all the seals around!😮
 

Roccus7

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That area circled looks like it would have some strong currents? But, I must be mistaking with swimming, kayak activities going on. I used to swim inside the outer beach in Chatham. Not the last few years with all the seals around!😮
We'll have to ask Don, this is his neck of the woods...
 
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Old Mud

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That area circled looks like it would have some strong currents? But, I must be mistaking with swimming, kayak activities going on. I used to swim inside the outer beach in Chatham. Not the last few years with all the seals around!😮
Joe that area is quite calm. It is just outside Mackerel cove thats quite shallow and small. If you go out to the left around Baileys and through Jaquish Gut when a moon tide is running you won't have to swim, just hang on.
 
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cany

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Joe that area is quite calm. It is just outside Mackerel cove thats quite shallow and small. If you go out to the left around Baileys and through Jaquish Gut when a moon tide is running you won't have to swim, just hang on.

Cappy John, if it were legal to take Great Whites I would have already been over there its only 6 miles from my mooring. I could make $5 to 6 a pound. About $5 more than i can make fishing Bluefin right now. :)
Old Mud Quint Ill get yer shark :ROFLMAO: :p
 
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Capt13

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I'll bring my drone and camera equipment up ..... we can make a documentary !

Cany, Mud and Roccus on the boat ....... that would make a hell of a show. :D

Just the footage of prepping for the trip at the dock would be priceless !!
 

Roccus7

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I know sharkin I might actually show up for this trip lol
And pigs will fly!!! I don't know who would need the defibrillator first, me or Mud???

I'll bring my drone and camera equipment up ..... we can make a documentary !

Cany, Mud and Roccus on the boat ....... that would make a hell of a show. :D

Just the footage of prepping for the trip at the dock would be priceless !!
A video would be great!! When fishing with this Jedi Master, it's a non-stop Master Class from the second you hop in the tender. I would love to record a trip just to have a complete transcript of all the knowledge!!
 

Roccus7

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who da hell wants to go swimming in Maine, da freakin water is always 32’... cellie...
Actually have a friend who remarked once, "No one over the age of 13 swims in the ocean in Maine."

Not quite 32°F Cell, water temp by me right now is 65°F on the flood, which is quite refreshing when the heat index is in the 90s. I had the tube out yesterday and floated for a while with a beverage; it was wonderful!!

If low to mid-60s are too rugged for your sensitive tootsies, you could wait for the tide to turn when I've seen it as warm as 75°F, but screw that, might as well take a bath.
 

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