In rare sightings—multiple at that—it is believed that the elusive great white shark, whose numbers are fast depleting, has been spotted off the coast of southern Maine.
The great white shark was allegedly spotted three times by different people along Maine's coastline on Saturday, June 20. Coincidentally, the day marked the 40th anniversary of Jaws.
The great white shark has the distinction of being the biggest predatory fish in the ocean and can weigh over 5,000 pounds and measure over 20 feet. This shark species can live for 70 years, and it is believed only 10,000 great white sharks exist. Their population has decreased due to overfishing.
Early Saturday afternoon around 1:30 p.m., a passenger aboard a charter fishing vessel spotted the great white and reported it to Wells Harbor. The shark was also photographed by Jaron Thibault as it was spotted 1.2 miles away from Moody Beach.
Thibault revealed that they got close to the great white thrice.
"Yeah, it was really cool. It was spooked very easily," said Thibault.
Another sighting took place nearly 25 miles off Portland, Maine, reported Scott Lever, a diver who leaned over the 22-foot fishing boat and spotted a shape.
The third sighting was by Kevin Proctor and his four friends who spotted the shark by 7:45 p.m. and reported it to the U.S. Coast Guard. Proctor, a marine engineer, was fishing for blue sharks and noticed the grayish shape that was 6 feet long and 3 feet wide.
"He was interested in our bait but came under the boat, circled around and came up parallel to the boat before he dove again," recounted Proctor.
Authorities have not confirmed any of the three sightings and even deployed a boat to check the waters. They continue to keep a lookout and encourage people to report sightings of the shark.
Wells Police have contacted neighboring beaches and the U.S. Coast Guard and informed them of the sighting. However, the police believe that sighting the great white shark so close to the beach is a rarity at this time of the year.
Photo: Elias Levy | Flickr