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Home / US / The great white shark is blamed for the deadly Maine attack; the victim was identified as a 63-year-old seasonal resident

The great white shark is blamed for the deadly Maine attack; the victim was identified as a 63-year-old seasonal resident

He said expert Greg Skomal had checked data on large white sharks tagged in the state of Massachusetts, where frightening top predators are growing, “to see if any of these sharks have moved north in recent days.”

“I want to emphasize that this is a very unusual event,” he said. But he also said: “We urge everyone to be vigilant.”

He said the attack took place on Monday at 3:26 p.m., just 20 yards from the shores of Bailey Island.

A clear witness told of the attack.

Tom Whyte said he worked from his second-floor office overlooking Mackerel Cove Island when he saw two people go for an afternoon swim on an unusually hot Monday afternoon.

Tom Whyte was a witness to an apparent shark attack that killed his neighbor while sailing in the waters off Bailey Island.
Tom Whyte was a witness to an apparent shark attack that killed his neighbor while sailing in the waters off Bailey Island.
Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

He watched the duo laugh and climb north about 20 yards from shore, one in a black suit and the other in a blue one-piece swimsuit. Then the person wearing the suit immersed himself in the water, his hands flaming.

Another looked back, watched as her companion emerged from under the water and quickly sailed back to shore, where he ascended to the ground and cried for help. Neighbors ran to her aid. She was unharmed.

Militon scripted, filmed through Whyto’s thoughts, he said. But it was never the one that was later reported by the authorities: a shark attacked a woman in a suit that was later identified as Dimper Holowach.

After another woman who, according to authorities, was the daughter of Dimper Holowach, came ashore, she fell on her arms and knees and shouted for help, Whyte said. Neighbors ran to her aid. She was unharmed.

    Waves on the shores of Casco Bay passed like a fishing boat the day after a woman was killed during a sharp shark attack.
Waves on the shores of Casco Bay passed like a fishing boat the day after a woman was killed during a sharp shark attack.

Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

The U.S. Coast Guard sailed from a small response vessel from Portland after receiving the attack at 3:37 p.m., but turned around after learning that the injured woman had been taken ashore.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene declared her dead.

The tragedy shocked an idyllic island on the outskirts of Brunswick, where almost all roads lead to a stalemate, lobster traps shrink cold, blue water and American flags blew into the coastal winds.

“Everything is very surreal,” Whyte shook his head.

Neighbors described Dimper Holowach as a seasonal resident who spent time between Florida and the sleeping island of Maine, home to less than 400 people year-round. It could be spotted almost every morning at this time of year while walking or running on the city’s main road. sala. She lived in a house on the Elden Trail Road and used the neighbor’s floating dock at Mackerel Cove to access the water, said another islander, Marie Schmon.

Schmon described Dimper Holowach as a woman with a “hospitable, warm, civic mindset” who “always had a smile on her face” and “exercised more seriously than we all do.” Monday’s attack is reported to have taken place in waters just outside Schmon’s house, at White Sails Lane.

State officials expressed condolences to Dimper Holowach’s family at a news conference on Tuesday at noon.

Keliher warned, “Right now [Department of Marine Resources] urges swimmers and other people who rest in or around the waters of the Casco Bay region, especially near Bailey’s Island, to be aware of their surroundings and to avoid fish schools that attract seals. Seals, in turn, will attract sharks. ”

Maine Marine Patrol Major Rob Beal said the agency was monitoring an area near Bailey Island and made a flight through that area to look for sharks but could not find them. He called on the public to report all sightings of sharks to the Marine Patrol. Officials said commercial fishermen were also asked to watch sharks.

Keliher doesn’t think closed beaches on the beach are necessary “because of the rarity of the event,” though he said he understood that some nearby state beaches have so far only introduced a cotton wool order.

“It is important to note that there are records dating back to the late 1800s of large white sharks in the Gulf of Maine. So the reports of big whites and activities with big whites are not something new, “he said, but added:” Obviously, this kind of problem in Maine is really new. “

Officials noted that a deadly assault on a shark was carried out near Eastport 10 years ago.

Keliher also praised the kayakers who arrived at the scene of the attack, saying they played an important role in transporting the body ashore.

“I can’t stress that we thank them for their efforts. In such a situation, the fact that they were able to kayak to that place and help bring the body back to shore was nothing short of miraculous. And we really thank them, we sincerely thank them, ”he said. He said he would not disclose their names.

Beal said, “I am close to the Harpswell community. It’s a really tough coastal community, a kind of Maine embankment icon. And in fact, Julie and her husband are just well-known, highly respected individuals, and the community is really in a difficult position trying to handle yesterday’s event. “

The Atlantic White Shark Conservation Service, a non-profit organization working with the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries to investigate, track and mark the growing population of large white whites off the coast, Facebook on Tuesday expressed its condolences to the Holowach family.

“First of all, my sincere condolences to the beloved woman who lost her life near Harpswell,” the group said.

According to conservatives, in the region where the woman was killed, sightings of white sharks are “relatively rare” and not unheard of.

“White sharks have long been known as the seasonal inhabitants of the Gulf of Maine, and they have been spotted as seals and guinea pigs in Maine’s coastal waters,” the conservatives said in a statement. “Observation data, catch data and tagging data show that white sharks are found in the region from early summer to autumn.”

The group said they would continue to work with several agencies to “expand their knowledge of white sharks in these areas and help promote public safety through the media.”

Nick Whitney, a senior scientist at the New England Aquarium, said it’s not uncommon for great white sharks to swim off the coast of Maine, but it’s rare for them to attack humans.

“They go as far as the coasts of Maine all the way to Nova Scotia. Their range is wider than we thought, ”he said.

He said a single shark could migrate all the way from Nova Scotia to Florida and move around the keys to the Gulf of Mexico within a year.

2018 There were two shark attacks in the waters of Cape Cape, one of which was fatal, Whitney noted.

That August, a 61-year-old New York man had bitten a shark in Truro and survived. Then in September, 26-year-old Revere’s husband died after a shark bit him aboard after boarding the waters of Wellfleet.

“We didn’t have them last year, I hope we won’t have them this year,” he said. “It usually happens in the waters off the coast of Maine.”

At the time of the Maine incident, he speculated, “It may be that the shark misplaced the swimmer on the seal … or he is investigating. Occasionally they examine from the mouth. Even a small bite of a studying white shark can be fatal. “

Whitney said that while shark sightings may appear less in the media this summer, that doesn’t mean there are fewer sharks in the water. “They’re really around this year – I don’t know about the differences in shark activity,” he said. “We probably haven’t seen so many stories about them because so many other stories have been told during the pandemic.”

Maine State Representative Joyce Jay McCreight, who has Harpswell in the district, said she was out of sight of Holowach, met her through a reciprocal group of books on the islands, and attended other social events in the past.

McCreight described Holowach as “a bright light, very vibrant, friendly, and outgoing.”

“I sent a message to make sure the members of the book group knew [what happened]and the knowledge that it is an amazing asset to the community and a member of the community, and to a person who has been a great favorite, ”McCreight said. “She was a man you feel was familiar with because she was so outgoing.”

When McCreight spoke to Holowach, she recalled that she was “very easy to be with, very friendly and easy to feel, and easy for those around her.”

The team at Maine-based accessory company Sea Bags, whose board member was Holowach, withdrew from the tragedy on Tuesday.

Don Oakes, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement that the company was “extremely shocked and saddened by sudden and tragic losses”.

Her passion for the ocean, the state of Maine, and the reasons we believe in have made her an invaluable supporter and friend. Julie’s long-standing knowledge of the retail and consumer goods industry was reflected in her contribution to our business, ”said Oakes. “We share with a heavy heart the feeling of loss with Julie’s family. We will greatly miss Julia’s enthusiasm and positive spirit. “

Returning to Harpswell, residents and visitors periodically stopped during an morning stroll along the island’s sandy roads on Tuesday morning to discuss the horrors of the previous day.

The Barnes family from Orchard Park, New York, walk the Harpswell Island Road through Bailey Island at about 8 p.m. In the morning and wondered how they were flying, hearing and throwing ambulances to the south in the morning.

Whyte said he swam in the bay for the first time in two years last weekend.

“It just doesn’t happen,” said Dave Barnes, who lives with his family at his mother’s house on the island every summer.

The beach at Mackerel Bay was empty, except for a few visitors from Brunswick who had not yet heard of the shark attack, and both immediately hinted at the movie Jaws when they realized what had happened.

Eggs working near Glen lobster, which intensely attracted morning bliss, expressed equal surprise at the event and pointed out how rarely, if ever, they see sharks going on their eastern cruise.

A couple from New York who heard the siren on Monday shook their heads as they admitted that the horrors of this particularly strange year followed them on vacation.

Hanna can be contacted by email. Email hanna.krueger@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @hannaskrueger. Steve Annear can be contacted by email. Email steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear. You can contact Emily Sweeney by email. Email emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney. Martin finucane can be contacted by email. Email martin.finucane@globe.com

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