Possible shark attack reported from Antigua
Price Reacts to Possible Shark AttackBy D. Francis, Caribarena Antigua,
26. December 2011
Antigua St John’s – Communications Officer and past president of the Antigua and Barbuda Fishermen’s Corporation Gerald Price said news of a shark attack during an early morning swim at Fort James beach is unusual in Antigua.
Veron Edwards senior said although he is still feeling some pain, he is “coming on” gradually since the incident earlier this week.
“It happens so quickly I can’t even explain,” Edwards said. “But all I know I felt this thing, then I realised what had happened. All I can say is, thank God I’m still alive.”
He is still receiving treatment at the hospital, but was expected to be released by weekend.
Reports indicate that Edwards was taking a swim at Fort James when he felt a tug at his right hand. He reacted quickly, then realised he had been bitten on the hand and wrist.
This has raised concern among early morning beachgoers, as many use the beach during the early morning hours to do swimming and other exercises to start the day. The wounds are said to be serious and required stitches.
Price noted, “I don’t want to scare people away from our beaches at this time, but if we are certain that there was a shark, we have to watch and be careful.”
He added, “It’s the first time that I’ve heard of it, of a shark attacking anyone here. A lot of sharks are in our waters, people catch them with nets, shark barrel, and even on line.
Short Shirt had once told me that he has seen several sharks in the Fort James area. There was one incident in Barbuda, but when it was investigated it was discovered that it was a barracuda that had bitten a child. But never have I heard until now about a shark attacking someone, so we have just have to be on watchful and mindful of our surroundings.”
Price was asked to comment on the theory that sharks come closer to shore during the cooler weather periods. He said, “I’ve never heard that one.
What I’ve heard though is that when the cruise ships are sailing through our waters and food is thrown overboard, the sharks tend to follow the cruise ships.
That’s what I’ve heard, rather than the weather. And a lot of cruise ships have been coming into Antigua, so it is believed the sharks follow these ships into the harbor.”
Price however noted that the fin of the shark should not be mistaken with those of a porpoise or dolphin.
Fort James is one of the most popularly used beaches where life guards are usually posted.