Shark Death at St. Andrews State Park - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Shark Death at St. Andrews State Park

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Courtesy: YouTube Courtesy: YouTube
Courtesy: Kathy Hunt Courtesy: Kathy Hunt
Courtesy: Kathy Hunt Courtesy: Kathy Hunt

An unfamiliar sight caused quite a stir Sunday afternoon at St. Andrews State Park.

"Wow! Holy cow, that's a shark, and it was right up into the sand area, like almost on the beach."

Kathy Hunt and her family are no strangers to the park. They frequent the area commonly knows as the "kiddie pool" on the east end. She's never seen a shark, not before Sunday.

"I started getting pictures as soon as people started getting out of the water."

Dozens of people started getting out of the water and onto the beach as a group of boys pulled the more than seven foot hammerhead shark on shore. Another beachgoer caught a lot of it video, now on YouTube.

"Fishing is a legal activity. Unfortunately, he did catch a hammerhead shark, and I'm just assuming that he was attempting to pull him back onto the shoreline and retrieve the hook," said Brian Addison, Park Manager.

Addison said rangers and other law enforcement quickly responded to area.

"It appears that it was in great distress at that time, and after several attempts, they were unsuccessful in trying to get the shark to swim back into open water."

Although, they aren't sure what brought the hammerhead so close to the shore, Addison said it's not uncommon to see sharks in nearly every area of the park.

"That water is tinted, and it's tainted. It's kind of a light brown color, and we know sharks do not have good eyesight so you just need to be aware of your surroundings and where you're at."

It was a shark sighting with an unfortunate ending, but one that reminded everyone of the realties of the Gulf of Mexico and provided a little education.

"The rangers were really good. They were letting the kids come up, and they were talking to the kids about the shark and what it felt like, kind of using it as an instructional for the kids and the people that were interested," said Hunt.

Addison said he typically sees a few sharks in the winter, when fewer people are at the beach and in the water.