Shark scare at Misquamicut Beach, identified as an Ocean Sunfish

Regional News

WESTERLY, Rhode Island (WTNH)– Earlier on Friday, News 8 as well as various other media outlets across New England, reported the spotting of a dorsalled animal in the ocean at Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island as a shark.

At 9:45 a.m., Rebecca Mitchell, and her son Seth, spotted a fin to the right of the buoy marking the swim area – only 50 yards from the shore.

It was much closer to the mother and son from Munson, Massachusetts who were in the water on their boogie boards waiting to catch a wave.

After a closer look of the alleged shark video, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Marine Fisheries now has confirmed that the fish was identified an Ocean Sunfish, not a Mako Shark.

Ocean Sunfish are harmless to humans.

“I just look to this way and I see something pop out of the water and I froze for a second and I said mom and she just said what,” said Seth Mitchell.

“I turned and I literally saw the fin not that far behind my son,” added Rebecca Mitchell. “It was probably a good 80 feet or so behind him and I just screamed run and then I screamed shark.”

After they alerted people, the life guards did the same and then people were told to get out of the water.

At about 10:30 a.m. a second fin was spotted much further out.

People were restricted from going into the water further than ankle deep.

The beach reopened at 11:30 a.m.

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