Posted by seahunt on January 21, 2001 at 20:41:28:
From the San Diego Union Tribune
By Kevin Vance
As a San Diego City Lifeguard and former navy SEAL, I have
swam alongside sharks on more occasions than I can remember.
I've always used caution and good sense, and never once have
been bothered by one.
Ros Messinger, a fellow lifeguard, and I were patrolling Black's
Beach during recent heavy surf and stormy weather when we noticed
a lone seagull standing by a small pool created by the decreasing
We could still see something thrashing inside it. It turned out
to be a female thresher shark about 6 feet long. She appeared to
be in the last stages of her life-gasping for oxygen and
lethargically rolling from side to side.
Threshers are known for their swiftness, but because of an evident
recent birthing, she wsa weakened and had been tossed onto shore
shore by the waves. Without hesitation, Rod and I decided to
return her to the sea.
I picked her up and judged she weighed 100 pounds. It was a
wonderful experience to feel her in my arms, her heart beating and
her muscles fibrillating fast from her fear and exhaustion.
She was moving her head from side to side in slow motion, but
stopped to look directly at us with her great large eyes.
We carried her out to water up past our knees, and put her down,
but she was so weak the waves kept tossing her back towards shore.
We picked her up again and waded out to waiste deep water, near
the edge of the underwater canyon at Black's. All the while she
continued to stare at us with those large eyes.
She hung motionless for a moment, and then dived down into the
deep. We waited to she if she would float to the top or be tossed
back to the shore, but she swam off where she belonged.
Reverence for the creatures that surround us is something we
should talk about more often. Maybe, then we could get rid of some
of the fear and aggression we have for creatures who, in the final
analysis, have much more to fear from us.
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