Beachgoers attempt to save a 30-foot basking shark that washed ashore

Shark dies despite hours of effort by local volunteers to save the rare fish.

Despite the best efforts of over a dozen beachgoers to save its life, a 30-foot-long basking shark died after washing ashore yesterday in Lubec, Maine.

Local resident Mark Olson filmed and took photos of the rarely seen basking shark as volunteers poured water over its gills for several hours in an ultimately futile effort to save the massive fish.

The body of the shark will be handled by the College of the Atlantic, according to Lubec Town Administrator John Sutherland.

Basking shark in Lubec, Maine

Sightings of basking sharks, which are completely harmless to humans, aren’t very common. Photo: Mark Olson

It was an uncommon chance to get a close look at the world’s second largest living fish, which is infrequently seen as it normally resides in deeper waters.

While basking sharks can grow up to 40 feet long, they’re listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as a vulnerable species, and after years of large scale fishing, seeing a specimen as large as this shark is very rare.

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