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July 06, 2015

Two shark sightings at Jersey Shore, as swimmers called out of surf

Lifeguards spot fins in Margate and Avalon; no injuries reported

Sharks were spotted in shallow water at two New Jersey beaches Monday, causing lifeguards to call swimmers out of the water. 

NBC Philadelphia reports that the first sighting occurred in Margate when lifeguards spotted a fin in the water around 1 p.m. Bathers were called out of the surf as lifeguards took a boat out to investigate, saying afterwards that the shark looked like it was chasing a school of fish. 

Later in the afternoon, swimmers in Avalon were called out of the water twice in the span of three hours due to a shark sighting. Lifeguards said the shark appeared to be about 4 feet long and was in waist-deep water. Avalon is 27 miles south of Margate. 

Several Twitter users posted photos and videos of the water being evacuated and the fin of the shark out in the ocean.

In both cases, swimmers were allowed back in the water and no one was hurt, according to NBC Philadelphia. 

Monday's sightings follow several sharks being caught and allegedly spotted in other Jersey shore towns, as well as several shark attacks in North Carolina that have injured several people.

The sightings also come a day after the ratings-juggernaut "Shark Week" begins on the Discovery Channel. 

On Sunday, a video posted on social media appeared to show sharks swimming off the coast in Sea Bright, Monmouth County, on Sunday. But the fish were later determined to be sunfish and not sharks, according to 

On the Fourth of July, beachgoers in Sea Isle City caught a small shark and sent their video to 6ABC.

Despite the attention in the media that sharks have gotten in recent weeks due to sightings and social media, and the attacks in the Carolinas, officials stress that shark attacks are rare at the Jersey Shore. Experts have told both the Press of Atlantic City and NBC Philadelphia that the possibility of shark attacks happening locally are low.