NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — A jet skier got a close look at a great white shark while riding Saturday off the coast of Narragansett.
Matt DeSalvo told 12 News he was in the area of Hazard Rock when something popped out of the water nearby.
“I was in the fog. I saw what looked like a fin, so I wasn’t sure if it was a shark at first,” he recalled. “I immediately got my camera out and I got it on video. I only had just 20 seconds or so to get the camera out and get it on video.”
The shark sighting was confirmed by the Atlantic Shark Institute (ASI). They believe a dead whale that washed up against the rocks may have drawn the shark closer to shore.
“It’s just one of those things where as these whales float through the ocean column, their scent goes a long way,” ASI’s Jon Dodd explained.
Dodd said that if one shark is around, many more could be as well. He warned to use caution in the area and to get out of the water if you can smell or see pieces of the whale carcass.
“What you see on the surface is also quite inconsistent with what’s going on under the water,” Dodd noted.
No additional shark sightings have been reported, however.
Representatives from Mystic Aquarium were at Hazard Rock on Monday, taking DNA samples from the carcass, which they believe is a fin whale.
It’s unclear at this time whether the whale will be removed, since it may be too deteriorated.