2018-08-01

First responders try to save shark

by Keith Corcoran

A shark found on a Riverport mud flat didn't survive despite rescuers' best efforts to try and free the fish.

Volunteer firefighters in the community were summoned around 9 p.m. July 19 for a truck and manpower after someone noticed what the fire chief identified as a blue shark in the eastern end of Ritcey's Cove.

Craig Cook said the tide was too low to get a boat to the fish and the mud in the area is several feet deep. He contacted the Marine Animal Response Society for information and direction.

Blue sharks are described as long and slender, reaching up to four metres in length, according to information from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. "Blue sharks are commonly seen near the surface over deep waters off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland during the summer and fall."

Cook told LighthouseNOW in a social media message that firefighters laid out sheets of plywood to get closer to the shark and tried, with the aid of water from a fire hose, digging out a channel. He said the situation with the mud was bad enough that the plywood was sinking.

First responders worked the scene until it was considered no longer safe to do so. The shark died, Cook said, and the fish was towed out to sea.

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