Sunday, September 13, 2009

Florida Shark Specialist Calls Cape Swimmers “Fat, Dumb & Happy”

No sharks have been sighted off Wellfleet so far, but that fact alone offers no guarantee they’re not out there, near shore, so I advise guests to avoid swimming in the ocean these days. The bay, at high tide, is a much better option. Today's Cape Cod Times has a long article by reporter Doug Fraser about the shark sightings and the seals that are the unwanted aquatic visitors' desired prey. George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research in Gainesville, believes the Cape needs a reality check. "'We've been pretty fat, dumb and happy when we go into the ocean. We think it's like the backyard pool, but it's not,' he said. Using common sense when sharks are in the water, along with lifeguards watching the ocean, could go a long way to averting tragedy. 'Having sharks in an area is not the kiss of death,' he said. 'I don't think this signals the end of recreational swimming in these waters for the rest of the year or in summers to come.' Do you think the ocean is "like the backyard pool?"