Alabama beaches reopen after over 100 sharks cause double red flag warnings

Charlene Sakoda
Odd News

On Tuesday, swimmers were finally allowed back into the gulf waters off Orange Beach, Alabama following days of double red flag warnings that were prompted by a massive group of sharks. As reported by WKRG News 5, the rare warning is an alert for swimmers to avoid the waters but despite the flags, some beachgoers were still going into the gulf.

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WKRG took to the sky for a better perspective and as late as Sunday afternoon, they reported seeing 100 to 150 sharks swimming around the area where the gulf meets Perdido Pass (watch their footage here). Experts believed that they were bull sharks and varied in size with some 6 to 7 feet long, but most just 3 to 4 feet long. According to WKRG, bull sharks are one of the top ten deadliest sharks. By Monday, most of the sharks had dispersed and the station was only able to count 22 sharks in the area, a number closer to the norm.

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The Pensacola News Journal reported that Melvin Shepard, Orange Beach safety director, felt the large number of sharks in the area were there to feed. "We think a lot has to do with snapper fishing," Shepard said. "A lot of people are cleaning their fish and tossing them into the water (at the pass). We're hoping with snapper season ending today, people will stop dumping their carcasses and the sharks will disperse."

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By noon on Tuesday, the paper reported that the double red flags had been taken down after it was confirmed that only a few sharks remained near Perdido Pass.

Videos and more info: WKRG (1), WKRG (2), WKRG (3), WKRG (4), Pensacola News Journal