Westport Shark Sighting Takes Bite Out of Acushnet Family’s Beach Plans
Acushnet's Jessica Cormier and her 23-month-old son Harrison knew it would be a hot and muggy day on Wednesday, so they made tracks for Westport's Horseneck Beach State Reservation.
The two, who are the wife and son of WBSM alum and Howie Carr Show producer Taylor Cormier, got to the beach between 8:30 and 9 a.m., before the crowds and the lifeguards.
The day didn't go as expected.
Wednesday was among the hottest days of the summer season, if not the hottest so far. Because of the heat, Cormier expected there to be a lot of people at Horseneck. She wanted to get a choice spot on the sand for Harrison and her to enjoy the day.
Cormier said all was going along pretty well until "the lifeguards showed up around 10:30 a.m. and immediately closed the water." She said the lifeguards announced a shark sighting, and the water would be closed for the day, but people would be allowed to remain on the beach.
WBSM confirmed with Westport Police that all Westport town beaches as well as Horseneck, which is operated by the Massachusetts Department of Communities and Recreation, would remain closed until further notice. A lifeguard reported seeing a shark fin some 100 feet offshore and notified police. The beach was then closed to swimmers.
"A lot of people were upset because it is so hot, and they wanted to go in the water," Cormier said. "Maybe a quarter of the people there were leaving when we did at 11 a.m."
Cormier said she and Harrison returned home to cool off in the family's backyard pool.
When I arrived at Horseneck at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, there were a few curiosity-seekers and some folks just sucking up the sun's rays. The parking lots were pretty empty, not at all what you might expect on a 90-degree-plus day in July.
There were a few television cameras when I arrived, scouring the sea and no doubt hoping for a return of the fin that drove everyone back into the steaming hot cities of the SouthCoast.