Narragansett Beach Gets Jaw-some Visitor as Shark Nears Shore
Narrangansett Town Beach was abuzz Thursday afternoon after a shark was spotted not far off shore. Luckily, a local creative was nearby when it happened and was able to capture the incredible scene with the help of his drone.
PJ Dougherty said he was in Charlestown filming a production when his phone started blowing up with texts, calls and voicemails. At first he brushed it off, but when he finally checked his messages, Dougherty realized that something pretty amazing was happening just a couple towns over.
"I started flying drones in 2016, so a lot of people in the area consider me 'the drone guy' or the go-to, so they're always calling when something cool is happening," Dougherty said. "I barely had any battery left in the drones, and I went down to The Dunes Club. Next thing you know I'm seeing a shark that's like 15 yards off shore."
Dougherty's footage captured what turned out to be an injured juvenile thresher shark, which he said is a breed known for being shy and not one to typically attack humans. Regardless, beachgoers evacuated the water to give the shark plenty of space, and watched on from the shore.
After sharing the video of his footage Thursday afternoon, Dougherty said he saw a few negative comments, accusing him of mocking the shark and its injury by putting the Jaws theme song behind the video. Dougherty said that was definitely not his intent, and as a lover of surfing and the ocean, he hopes his video can bring awareness to practicing respect in sharks' habitat. His use of the Jaws song, however, was strictly a creative addition – because who doesn't think of that song every time they see a shark?
"Whenever I'm surfing – I've seen Jaws – I may get a little scared, but I'm in their habitat, just like if you were to go into an aggressive dog's backyard. That's where they live; you don't live there," Dougherty said. "It's not for people to take the wrong message with the shark theme song. I'm just a storyteller, videographer, photographer and creative, so it just added to the bit. I mean when you see a shark, Shark Week was last week, so it's perfect. It would be stale if there was no audio behind there, and I'm not going to play like Mozart."
In just one day, Dougherty's video has garnered thousands of views, leaving both Narragansett locals and folks from way beyond the region amazed by the thresher shark.
FUN FACT: Thresher sharks are known for their long tails and for their ability to breach like whales. Check out this video of a thresher shark jumping not once, not twice, but three times in a row.