Swarm of 100+ sharks gets rare red-flag warning at beach - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Swarm of 100+ sharks gets rare red-flag warning at beach

Posted: Updated:
ORANGE BEACH, ALABAMA - Double red flags are still posted in the area near Alabama Point at Orange Beach for the second day --  alerting people to avoid swimming due to a high volume of sharks in the area.
 
The City of Orange Beach posted the warning after a dangerously high number of sharks in the area. WKRG-TV reported that there were "hundreds" of sharks in the small area on Saturday and Sunday.

The warning was posted at Alabama Point and the Shell Parking lot to the east of Alabama Point, closing these beaches for recreation.

"Hopefully once people stop throwing their fish carcasses into the water, they may not be swimming in such numbers that close to the beach," said Melvin Shepard in a release sent to News 5. 

News 5 took to the air with Oasis Helicopter and spotted between 100 and 150 sharks grouped together near the pass. On Monday, there were about 25 sharks.

News 5's Blake Brown took to the water by boat Sunday afternoon and within 5 minutes of being on the gulf, he'd spotted his first shark.

We're still not sure what kinds of sharks are grouping together near the pass. One boater suggested they are Mako sharks, which are very common in the gulf waters.

Beach safety supervisor Melvin Shepard says anyone entering the water can be fined.  Shepard says the shark swarm may be linked to a large number of fish carcasses in the water during red snapper season.

After a joint helicopter flight conducted by News 5 and City of Orange Beach officials, aerial pictures show most of the sharks that have gathered in the Perdido Pass area have left on Monday.
 
However, the City of Orange Beach is keeping its double red flag warning up until at least Tuesday morning when another flight is planned.

News 5 flew seven miles down the coastline from state line to Gulf State Park pier and counted about 22 sharks. That number is much closer to normal, according to Orange Beach safety officials.

WKRG's Pat Peterson didn't see any huge shark congregations near the pass, saying it was "mostly individuals."

As for the size of the sharks, Peterson says he saw "a few 6-7 footers, but mostly 3-4 footers."

Although everyone is strongly advised to avoid the waters with double red flags, many swimmers are taking their chances as they dive into the water. Orange Beach authorities will continue to monitor the situation.

Most of the time, sharks tend to stay away from humans, only feeding on fish, and other sea life. However, we have seen our fair share of attacks here on the gulf coast.

Just last year in 2013, a man was pulled from the waters at Pensacola Beach when he was bit.

One of the most remembered attacks happened in 2001, when Jessie Arbogast was attacked. The shark ripped into him on Pensacola Beach when he was a young boy. His story made national headlines, because his uncle wrestled the shark to free Jessie. Jessie survived, but is now confined to a wheel chair, suffering permanent brain damage.
Zip Code Weather!
Get a local weather report and a 10-day forecast by typing in your zip code!
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Meriwether County man murdered during apparent robbery

    Meriwether County man murdered during apparent robbery

    Monday, August 25 2014 4:41 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:41:56 GMT
    Two individuals believed to be connected with a Meriwether County murder were caught on surveillance camera in Newnan.Two individuals believed to be connected with a Meriwether County murder were caught on surveillance camera in Newnan.
    Local and state investigators release surveillance images of suspects believed to be connected with a Meriwether County murder investigation.
    Local and state investigators release surveillance images of suspects believed to be connected with a Meriwether County murder investigation.
  • 16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    16-year-old girl stabs another 65 times after nude photos posted on Facebook

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 3:29 PM EDT2014-04-02 19:29:36 GMT
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,
    A 16-year-old girl is accused of fatally stabbing her teen ‘best friend' in an attack spurred by nude photos of the pair together posted on social media, according to several media sources.  Anel Baez,
  • WHLT 22 Televising Two Southern Miss Away Football Games

    WHLT 22 Televising Two Southern Miss Away Football Games

    Thursday, August 28 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:21:14 GMT
    Hattiesburg, MS -- Fans of Southern Miss football who reside in the Pine Belt will now have the opportunity to watch two of the team's away games this season on WHLT 22. WHLT 22 acquired the rights to air the Saturday, October 4th game against Middle Tennessee State University at 11:00 am CST and the Saturday, October 18th game against North Texas at 6:00 pm CST. WHLT 22 coordinated with Sinclair Broadcast Group to broadcast the two Southern Miss games on the American Sports Network. “We...
    Hattiesburg, MS -- Fans of Southern Miss football who reside in the Pine Belt will now have the opportunity to watch two of the team's away games this season on WHLT 22. WHLT 22 acquired the rights to air the Saturday, October 4th game against Middle Tennessee State University at 11:00 am CST and the Saturday, October 18th game against North Texas at 6:00 pm CST. WHLT 22 coordinated with Sinclair Broadcast Group to broadcast the two Southern Miss games on the American Sports Network. “We...
Powered by WorldNow

5912 Hwy. 49, Ste. A
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Telephone: 601.545.2077
Fax: 601.545.3589
Email: newsroom@whlt.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.