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Shark Spotted In The Water At White Rock Beach

shark white rock pier

Photo: Shannon Sayers / Sarah Beatty

Wildlife is nothing new in Vancouver, and spotting an orca out in the ocean isn’t unusual. A shark however? Now that’s not an everyday sight.

A local woman was out paddle boarding at East Beach by White Rock Pier when she got the shock of her life by finding what appeared to be a shark in the waters.

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Local spots a shark in the waters by White Rock Pier

Local resident Shannon Sayers shared a fascinating (and terrifying) story with 604 Now about her close encounter with a shark last week.

Sayers was paddling at East Beach while on her way home when she noticed in the distance what she thought was a seal floating on its back.

As she got closer, she nearly fell off her board when she realized it was a shark about 6 to 8 feet long with 6 gills.

The shark however, appeared to be dead.

shark white rock pier
Photo: Shannon Sayers
shark white rock pier
Photo submitted by Shannon Sayers

The initial shock caused her to accidentally hit her shin on the back of her paddleboard. She now humorously calls it her ‘shark bite’ and a way to remember the surprise.

shark white rock pier
Photo submitted by Shannon Sayers

Responses to the post

Sayers also shared her story on Facebook, and people were less than excited about the event, with various levels of disbelief.

“Ok that totally freaks me out to go swimming at the beach! Eeeeeek! I didn’t know we had sharks of any kind – thought our part of the Pacific wasn’t warm enough!”

“Oh that’s a big fat NO!”

“I’m never going swimming in the ocean again ….”

“straight out of my nightmares lol”

Another local, Sarah Beatty Hippern, captured photos of the same shark washed ashore later that day.

shark white rock pier
Photo: Sarah Beatty Hippern/ Facebook
shark white rock pier
Photo: Sarah Beatty Hippern / Facebook

Although not confirmed, many believe that this is a sixgill shark, as numerous have been spotted all over the B.C. Gulf Islands this spring.

While sixgill sharks are frequently encountered in British Columbia, their usual habitat is found at depths of up to 1.5 kilometers off the western shores of Vancouver Island.

It was also indicated that the marine conservation team arrived later that day and was able to successfully retrieve the shark’s body from the waters. The incident reminds us of when a group of sharks was spotted swimming near Stanley Park.

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