Jersey Shore Shark Attacks of 1916 by Frederic P. MillerPlease note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 were a series of shark attacks along the coast of New Jersey between July 1 and July 12, 1916, in which four people were killed and one injured. Since 1916, scholars have debated which shark species was responsible and the number of animals involved, with the great white shark and the bull shark most frequently being blamed. The attacks occurred during a deadly summer heat wave and polio epidemic in the northeastern United States that drove thousands of people to the seaside resorts of the Jersey Shore. Shark attacks on the Atlantic Coast of the United States outside the semitropical states of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas were rare, but scholars believe that the increased presence of sharks and humans in the water led to the attacks in 1916s.
Site of the New Jersey Shark Attacks of 1916
Brian Donohue NJ. A series of fatal and near-deadly shark attacks in New Jersey scared thousands of people out of entering the ocean. The shockwave of those shark attacks can even still be felt today when the reputation of these marine animals has been all but tainted with bloodlust and paranoia. The novel and the subsequent classic film of the same name, Jaws , did little to alleviate these fears through the decades. Actually, it is often credited with spurring the still-raging battle of panic and paranoia on behalf of beachgoers and sharks the world over. Here is what happened in this bloody and terrifying two weeks on the New Jersey coast that July in Before the shark attacks of , scientists largely thought that sharks were relatively benign.
Local and national reaction to the fatalities involved a wave of panic that led to shark hunts aimed at eradicating the population of "man-eating" sharks and protecting the economies of New Jersey's seaside communities. Resort towns enclosed their public beaches with steel nets to protect swimmers. Scientific knowledge about sharks before was based on conjecture and speculation. Between July 1 and July 12, , five people were attacked along the coast of New Jersey by sharks; only one of the victims survived. Shortly after entering the water, Vansant began shouting. Bathers believed he was calling to the dog, but a shark was actually biting Vansant's legs. Despite the Vansant incident, beaches along the Jersey Shore remained open.
The attacks generated headlines worldwide and prompted scientists to re-examine their understanding of sharks, stirring fear in an age in which wading at the beach was the ultimate pastime. A hundred years later, the attacks still draw visitors to the quaint town of fewer than 9, people. Since Saturday, the town has been hosting a nine-day commemoration of the events, which is expected to give a hefty boost to tourism. Matawan residents welcome the attention but are sensitive to the fact that local men and boys died in the attacks. Last month, while eating lunch in Matawan with his father, Ryan Bielenda, a year-old from nearby Old Bridge, talked about a report he wrote on the attack for his fifth-grade class last spring. When he went swimming in the ocean the first couple of times this summer, he said, his mind was on the shark.
A Leisurely Swim At Sunset
A great white shark scarfs down a chunk of bait. Rogue Shark! The Jersey Shore Attacks of Return to Part 1. In twelve days in the summer of shark attacks along the New Jersey shore had left four dead and one maimed with the rogue shark still on the loose. On July 13, , John Nichols, the ichthyologist from the American Museum of Natural History, arrived at Matawan, the site of the most recent attacks.