Swimmers warned as sharks flock to Alabama beach - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Swimmers warned as sharks flock to Alabama beach

Posted: Updated:
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. -

Double red flags were still posted in the area near Alabama Point at Orange Beach for the second day Sunday -- 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.

  • U.S. & WorldMore>>

  • A look back at Hurricane Katrina, 50 photos

    A look back at Hurricane Katrina, 50 photos

    For some, it may be hard to believe that nine years have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall and left major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi. Most people will never forget where they
    Friday marks nine years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, causing major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi.
  • Comedian Joan Rivers hospitalized in New York City

    Comedian Joan Rivers hospitalized in New York City

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:52 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:52:20 GMT
    Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, one day after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.
    Joan Rivers remained in a New York City hospital Friday, one day after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.
  • Malaysia Airlines to cut 6,000 staff in overhaul

    Malaysia Airlines to cut 6,000 staff in overhaul

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:32 AM EDT2014-08-29 09:32:09 GMT
    Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers as part of an overhaul announced Friday to revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet disasters.
    Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers as part of a $1.9 billion overhaul announced Friday to revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet disasters.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE:Parents and Students Who Knew GSU Student Killed in Bar Speak Out

    UPDATE:Parents and Students Who Knew GSU Student Killed in Bar Speak Out

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:59:57 GMT
    A 20 year old is in custody, accused of beating 18 Year old GSU freshman Michael Gatto to death inside a club
    A 20 year old is in custody, accused of beating 18 Year old GSU freshman Michael Gatto to death inside a club
  • Shooting on Skidaway Road, Victim Hospitalized

    Shooting on Skidaway Road, Victim Hospitalized

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-08-30 05:00:01 GMT
    A man is in the hospital after a shooting Friday night on Savannah's eastside.
    A man is in the hospital after a shooting Friday night on Savannah's eastside.
  • 'Magic Mike,' Sequel to be Filmed in Savannah

    'Magic Mike,' Sequel to be Filmed in Savannah

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:52 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:52:15 GMT
    The Savannah Film Office says the sequel to the movie Magic Mike is scheduled to be filmed in the Savannah area beginning in September.
    The Savannah Film Office says the sequel to the movie Magic Mike is scheduled to be filmed in the Savannah area beginning in September.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

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