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Failed attempt to save stranded salmon shark

A live juvenile salmon shark became stranded on a northern Oregon beach Saturday and, despite the efforts of would-be rescuers from the nearby Seaside Aquarium, the animal died several hours later.

On Saturday morning, Mike Patterson, of Astoria, was walking on Sunset Beach when he happened upon the shark, a 3.5-foot female, struggling in the surf, according to a spokeswoman for the aquarium.

Patterson called the aquarium, where his daughter works, and the facility dispatched a team of rescuers to try to help the ailing animal. Staff repeatedly tried to return the shark to the water, but each time she again beached herself.

Rescuers quickly transferred the animal to a holding tank and brought it back to the aquarium to try to stabilize the creature so it could be taken to a facility with larger tanks where it could be rehabilitated.



Within a couple hours, and before the creature could be moved, the shark died, an aquarium spokeswoman said.

Young salmon sharks, which resemble great white sharks in almost every way except for size, can grow up to 10 feet long. It’s unknown exactly how old the animal in question was, but given it was less than 4 feet long, it couldn’t have been very old, according to the aquarium.


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