A lifeguard working on Belmar Beach in New Jersey found himself in a really unusual situation. A small beached shark was found lying helplessly on the sand in clear need of assistance. The stranded animal, whose story was shared by Lauren Cooper on Facebook, couldn’t make his own way back into the surf, and it is unknown how long he had been on land. Unfortunately, stories featuring sharks do not always end happily for the marine creature. Thankfully, this time the right person was there at exactly the right time. One lifeguard did not hesitate to help the little shark – and they did it in the most amazing way.

Finding the beached shark, the lifeguard knew he had to take the animal back into the water. If left on the beach, the shark would soon “reverse drown,” by not being able to breathe.

The man decided to place the animal carefully on his board and took the shark into the water, saving the animal’s life. The rescue was witnessed by many people who happened to be on the beach.

 

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Sharks play an incredibly important role in maintaining ocean health, and the public image these animals have been given – think of Jaws – has very little to do with reality when it comes to the 400+ species of sharks swimming in the oceans. The Belmar lifeguard returned the beached shark to his natural home and did it in a way that would be the least risky. Rescuing wildlife is often life-saving – but it is important to remember that you should always try to contact a professional first, and do not attempt a rescue if it is unsafe to do so. Find a list of some marine hotlines you can call here.

All image source: Lauren Cooper/Facebook