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New York lifeguard rescues shark

9/4/2007

NEW YORK — When a Coney Island lifeguard spied a shark near
an upset group of swimmers, he did what he thought was right: He
rescued the fish.

Marisu Mironescu, 39, said he was prompted to action Monday
after seeing about 75 to 100 people circling the 2-foot sand shark
off the beach and "bugging out.''

"They were holding onto it and some people were actually
hitting him, smacking his face,'' said Mironescu. "Well, I wasn't
going to let them hurt the poor thing.''

He grabbed the largely harmless shark in his arms and carried
it, backstroking out to sea, where he let it go. "He was making
believe like he's dead, then he wriggled his whole body and tried
to bite me,'' Mironescu said.

"We had a little bit of a punctuation mark at the end of summer
with 'Jaws' junior showing up and frightening people,'' said Adrian
Benepe, the city Parks Commissioner.

The rescue ended a holiday weekend that began with another city
shark scare Saturday, when a 5-foot thresher shark washed up on
Rockaway Beach, sending hundreds of swimmers out of the water.
About 10 blocks of the beach were also closed down for hours on
Labor Day weekend.