Shark sightings close some Norfolk beaches

Posted at 11:21 AM, Jun 23, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. -  Four shark sightings closed down Norfolk beaches Thursday. The Division Head of Aquatics and Beaches said swimming areas were cleared at each beach after sharks came through and stuck around for a little while.

The sharks were spotted at Community Beach, Ocean View Beach and Sarah Constant Beach Park, reported sister station WTKR.

The spotting caused Community Beach to close for about 30 minutes.

Dan Jones, Division Head of Aquatics and Beaches

"I have a family out here and I don't want anything to happen to them. I've seen stories about people getting attacked, so I don't want anything to happen to them," said Angel Lowe, who was at the beach with her kids.

A city official said the shark was reported around 11:30 a.m. and it appeared to be less than six feet long.

Dan Jones, Division Head of Aquatics and Beaches, said four shark sightings in one day is highly unusual, adding they typically wouldn't be this many in one summer. However, he had ideas on why they were coming close.

"There are stingrays, there are flounder, other fish out there that might be a food source for the sharks," said Jones.

A school of dolphins was also in the water at Ocean View Beach along with the sharks.

Saturday, the founder of Ocearch, a nonprofit organization responsible for tagging and tracking sharks including Mary Lee and Katharine, will be at the Aquarium talking about shark science. The event will be at 6:30 p.m. and will be free, but seating is limited to the first 250 guests.

In May three sharks pinged off the coast of Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.

Two of the sharks were great whites named Mary Lee and Katherine and a tiger shark named Weimar pinged nearby around the same time as Katherine.