It’s been a busy season for the Jersey Shore. And for sharks, too.
There have been at least six incidents involving sharks. But the scariest came to light on Sunday when a report about a man knocked off his bodyboard at Long Beach Island surfaced.
That would be at least the sixth incident possibly involving sharks at the Jersey Shore this summer – a situation that researchers have been monitoring while also trying to reassure people that there has not been an increase in shark attacks this year. Read more: Why It Seems Like There Are More Sharks Around The Jersey Shore
This incident, however, may have been the scariest because someone actually appeared to be hurt.
The incident involved Paul Sykes, 67, who said he was bodyboarding on Monday, May 20 off Eighth Avenue at Ship Bottom and paddling out after catching a wave when he enountered a possible shark, according to an incident report he provided to the Global Shark Attack File, compiled by the Shark Research Institute of Princeton.
Sykes said he was hit as he was resting on his bodyboard with his lower body, legs and swim fins in the water and his, chest and arms were resting on the board.
“I was hit on my left side, around the hip area, right at the water line. I was knocked off the board and about 3 feet across the water,” he said. “I went under for just a second and came up and saw a fin next to my board, approximately 12 inches high in the white foam.”
“I pulled my board to me on the attached leash, got on the board and began paddling for shore. I did not see a fish body or the fin again.”
Sykes described himself as an experienced waterman, having been an Atlantic City lifeguard and a surfer or bodyboarder his entire life. But the Little Egg Harbor man admitted to in a Sunday report that the incident “has shaken me up.”
He said he did get what felt like the effects of whiplash from the incident.
“I’ve seen many dolphin, some sharks, and a few whales fairly close to me, but have never had a physical encounter,” he said.
Here are other encounters that have happened at the Jersey Shore this year: