If You Must Swim With The Seals

harbor seal . . . make sure they are the really really tasty-looking kind. Following the confirmed sighting of a great white shark off the coast of Massachusetts, the Coast Guard issued a shark warning last Friday. According to WBZ the Coast Guard suggests that the sharks are attracted by the growing seal population.

“Predation is not generally a concern for boaters and paddlers in Northeast waters,” Al Johnson, the First Coast Guard District’s recreational boating specialist, said in a statement, “but I have no doubt that a great white shark that swims into your comfort zone would surely find a splashing paddle or dangling hand inviting. I also expect that same passing shark would spend little time differentiating between boater, paddler and prey.”

In an effort to put the actual risk into perspective for the panicky masses The Providence Journal consulted The International Shark Attack File. Staff writer Kate Bramson discovered that there had only been 7 fatalities in the last 340 years here in the northeast — two in Massachusetts (last one in 1938), the other five at the Jersey Shore (now that’s what I call a ‘situation’). So statistically speaking, it’s still the doughboy that’s gonna kill you.

And all this is soooo Fourth of July. . . I’m sure we’re fine now. Just remember, you don’t have to outswim the shark, you just have to outswim the seal.

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