MANASQUAN — Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, an expert on the 1916 Jersey Shore shark attacks comes along and says, well, yes, it is safe.
“It was such a unique event … An anomaly,” Dr. Richard G. Fernicola told a packed audience on the evening of July 7 at the historic Squan Beach Life Saving Station, 124 Ocean Ave.
Dr. Fernicola, a physician in Brick, is the author of the book “Twelve Days of Terror: Inside the Shocking 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks,” and his exhaustive research has been the basis of shark documentaries on the Discovery, History, National Geographic and Smithsonian channels.
The 1916 attacks, which left four dead and one grievously injured, inspired Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel “Jaws” and Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film of the same name. The attacks happened in the ocean off Beach Haven and Spring Lake and in Matawan Creek.
“I’m not sure anyone from Manasquan or the local area would want to hear about shark attacks in the middle of the summer … but I’m going to speak about the uniqueness of the event … It’s 106 years old. The U.S. – New Jersey especially – hasn’t come close to anything near the gravity of this type of event. … We’ve been incredibly safe and protected. That’s why I feel comfortable talking about the subject,” Dr. Fernicola said.
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