Mysterious Fin Spotted Off Coast of Weymouth, Mass. - NECN

Mysterious Fin Spotted Off Coast of Weymouth, Mass.



    Mysterious fin spotted off coast of Weymouth, Mass.

    Water at Lane Beach was cleared in case it was a shark, but experts now think it was an ocean sunfish (Published Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014)

    (NECN: Josh Brogadir, Weymouth, Mass.) - This is not the Cape, not even near it.

    And this may be shark week, but Weymouth, Mass. is not shark country.

    "It was seen right about over there, where that American flag is flying," said Weymouth Harbormaster Paul Milone.

    A dorsal fin was spotted, meaning no chances were taken, and the water was cleared by lifeguards at Lane Beach in Weymouth, Mass. just before noon.

    And why not?

    Camp counselor Megan Osterman was on the beach with a group of little kids.

    "Just as we were about to pack the kids up and get ready to go, we noticed something bobbing in and out of the water. We looked from the guard house and we were like, what is that? And then we took a look again and we were like, that can't be a shark, not around here. And then the third time we were like, oh my goodness, that is a shark," Osterman said.

    Sure looks like a shark from the photo.

    But was it?

    Weymouth Harbormaster Milone told us that's a big huge maybe.

    "Basking sharks? Haven't seen one of those for 10-12 years, and I've never in all my career and all my life seen a (different) shark in the area," Milone said.

    Take a look at this video, the big fish is flopping around, not very shark like behavior.

    "Well the seal was down here a few years ago, that was before I came down with the kids," said Carolyn Arki at the beach with her kids.

    Sharks go where seals go, and there aren't any here right now in this part of the Fore River leading to the Atlantic Ocean.

    So if not a shark, what could it be?

    "I cannot confirm or deny what it is. I do know that in the bay area, there are some sightings of sunfish, that can grow pretty big," Milone said.

    The ocean sunfish can grow to a couple of thousand pounds and feeds on jellyfish, and there are many jellies in these waters.

    So, perhaps this fin belongs to a sunfish and not a shark.

    All to the disappointment of these shark dancing kids, if not their moms.

    "It never would have ever even occurred to me to look for a shark before, ever," said Dawn Freeman, at the beach with her kids.

    "I'll definitely stay in the backyard. No. more often, swim in a pool," said mom Rafaela Inferrera, half jokingly.

    Shark experts with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy say the rounded dorsal fin in the photo made them think it was a sunfish, but that the video was a clincher.

    The dorsal fin was flopping around and there was no visible tail fin. Add it all up, it doesn't sound like a shark.