Sue Fontaine captured this photo of a shark attacking a seal off Owls Head at 7:40 a.m. on July 10. Photo by Sue Fontaine

OWLS HEAD — An Atlantic great white shark was photographed killing a seal off Owls Head on Sunday morning.

Sue Fontaine photographed the incident and posted photographs to her Facebook page.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy organization added that information to its White Shark tracking app. The sighting occurred at 7:39 a.m. July 10.

Fontaine said in a telephone interview Wednesday that the shark was sighted off Whitehead Island Lighthouse just entering the southern end of Muscle Ridge south of Owls Head. Fontaine and her husband are from Maine and have retired to Florida but spend summers in Trenton.

The retired teacher and her husband were on their 22-foot C-Dory and she was planning to take photographs of the lighthouse when she saw the seal. She noticed red behind the seal and thought it was in distress, perhaps from being entangled in a net. The couple started toward the seal to see if they could help.

Then she saw the fin and the shark. And within six minutes, the shark had devoured the seal. She photographed the scene with 116 photographs.


A great white shark was spotted off Pemaquid Point on the afternoon of July 7 and off Harpswell on the morning of July 7.

National Geographic reports on its website that great white sharks are found in cool, coastal waters around the world.

“Great whites are the largest predatory fish on Earth. They grow to an average of 15 feet in length, though specimens exceeding 20 feet and weighing up to 5,000 pounds have been recorded,” the website says.

They’re streamlined, torpedo-shaped swimmers with powerful tails that can propel them through the water at speeds of up to 15 mph. They can even leave the water completely, breaching like whales when attacking prey from underneath.

“Of the 100-plus annual shark attacks worldwide, a third to a half are attributed to great white sharks. Most of these, however, are not fatal. Research finds that great whites, which are naturally curious, often ‘sample bite’ then release their human target. It’s not a terribly comforting distinction, but it does indicate that humans are not actually on the great white’s menu. Fatal attacks, experts say, are typically cases of mistaken identity: Swimmers and surfers can look a lot like their favorite prey – seals – when seen from below,” the National Geographic site says.

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