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Home / US / The great white shark is seen as the culprit in Maine’s deadly attack; the victim is recognized as a 63-year-old seasonal resident

The great white shark is seen as the culprit in Maine’s deadly attack; the victim is recognized as a 63-year-old seasonal resident

He said expert Greg Skomal was checking data on large white sharks marked by Massachusetts, where terrifying apical predators climb, “to see if any of these sharks could have moved north.”

“I want to emphasize that this is an extremely unusual event,” he said. But he also said, “We urge everyone to be vigilant.”

He said the attack took place at 3:26 pm on Monday, just 20 meters off the coast of Bailey Island.

An eyewitness spoke about the threat of an attack.

Tom White said he was working from his second office overlooking Mackerel Bay on the island when he saw two people heading out for a swim on an unusually hot Monday.

Tom White witnessed a shark attack that killed his neighbor while she was swimming in the waters off Bailey Island.
Tom White witnessed a shark attack that killed his neighbor while she was swimming in the waters off Bailey Island.
Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

He watched as the duo laughed and rowed north about 20 meters from the shore, one in a black wetsuit and the other in a blue one-piece swimsuit. Then a man dressed in a wetsuit plunged under the water, waving his arms.

Another looked around, saw her companion come out of the water and quickly swam back to shore, where she climbed ashore and cried for help. Neighbors came to her aid. She was not injured.

A million scenarios shot through White’s mind, he said. But never the one that was later reported by the authorities: a shark attacked a woman in a wetsuit, who was later identified as Dimperio Holovach.

“After another woman came ashore, whom the authorities said was the daughter of Dimperio Golovach, she fell to her knees and cried for help,” White said. Neighbors came to her aid. She was not injured.

    The waves on the shores of Casco Bay like a fishing boat passed a day after a woman was killed in a clear shark attack.
The waves on the shores of Casco Bay like a fishing boat passed a day after a woman was killed in a clear shark attack.

Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

The U.S. Coast Guard launched a small response boat from Portland after receiving a report of the attack at 3:37 p.m., but turned around when it learned that the injured woman had been brought to board.

She was pronounced dead by paramedics who arrived at the scene.

The tragedy shook an idyllic island on the outskirts of Brunswick, where almost all roads lead to dead ends, lobster traps are crowded with cold, blue waters and American flags smoking under the coastal winds.

“It’s all very surreal,” White said, shaking his head.

Neighbors described Dimperio Golovach as a seasonal resident who divided her time between Florida and a sleepy island in Maine with a population of less than 400 all year round. She could be seen almost every morning at this time of year walking or running on the island’s main road. She lived in a house on Elden Point Road and used a neighbor’s floating berth in Scooby Cove to access the water, said Marie Shmon, another resident of the island.

Schmon described Dimperio Golovach as a “friendly, warm, civil” woman who “always had a smile on her face” and “took exercise more seriously than the rest of us.” The attack reportedly took place on Monday in the waters near Shmon’s house on White Sails Lane.

Government officials expressed condolences to the family of Dimperio Golovach at a press conference at noon on Tuesday.

Kelicher warned, “At this time [Department of Marine Resources] encourages swimmers and other people who breed in and around the waters of the Casco Bay region, particularly near Bailey Island, to be aware of their surroundings and to avoid fish schools that attract seals. Seals, in turn, attract sharks.

Maine Marine Patrol Major Rob Bill said the agency was monitoring the area near Bailey Island and flew over the area to look for sharks, but found none. He urged the public to report any species of shark to the Marine Patrol. Officials said commercial fishermen were also asked to keep an eye on the sharks.

Kelicher said he did not believe the beaches needed to be closed “because of the rarity of the event”, although he said he understood that only orders had been placed on some neighboring state beaches at the moment.

“It is important to note that there are records in the Gulf of Minsk dating back to the late 1800s around the presence of great white sharks. So the news of great whites and activity with big whites is nothing new, “he said, but added,” Obviously, this type of question is definitely news to Maine. “

Officials noted that there was a non-lethal attack on Eastport 10 years ago by a harness shark.

Kelicher also praised the kayaks who arrived at the scene, saying they played a role in bringing the body ashore.

“I cannot emphasize the sufficient gratitude we have made for their efforts. In such situations, the fact that they were able to take a kayak to the area and help bring the body ashore was nothing short of a miracle. And we, of course, thank them, sincerely thank them, “he said. He said he would not give their names.

Bill said: “I am close to the Harpswell community. This is a really close coastal community, which is iconic for the Maine waterfront. In fact, Julie and her husband are just famous, highly respected people, and the community is really only in a difficult situation when they are trying to handle yesterday’s event. “

Atlantic White Shark Conservation officials, a nonprofit that works with the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries to study, track and label the growing white population off the coast of the state, expressed condolences to the Golovach family on Facebook on Tuesday.

“The first and most important condolences to a loved one who lost her life outside of Harpswell,” the group said.

According to the statement, although visible white shark species are “relatively rare” in the region where the woman was killed, they are not unheard of.

“White sharks have long been known to be seasonal inhabitants of the Gulf of Minsk, and they have been observed hunting seals and marine marine land in the coastal waters of Maine,” the guard said. “Sight data, catch data and tags show that white sharks occur in the region from early summer to autumn.”

The group said it would continue to work with several agencies to “expand our knowledge of white sharks in these areas and, through propaganda, promote public safety.”

Nick Whitney, a senior researcher at the New England Aquarium, said great white sharks often swim off the coast of Maine, but they rarely attack humans.

“They go off the coast of Maine to Nova Scotia. Their range is wider than we thought, “he said.

He said a single shark could migrate all the way from Nova Scotia to Florida and then bypass the Keys in the Gulf of Mexico.

Two shark attacks, one of which was fatal, occurred in the waters near Cape Cod in 2018, Whitney said.

That August, a 61-year-old New York man was bitten by a shark in Truro and survived. Then in September, a 26-year-old man named Revere died after being bitten by a shark while he was raging aboard in the waters off the Waffle.

“We didn’t have it last year, and we hope we won’t have it this year,” he said. “This usually applies to the waters off the coast of Maine.”

During the incident in Maine, he reasoned, “Perhaps the shark misperceived the seal swimmer … or investigated. Sometimes they will examine with their mouths. Even a small investigative bite from a great white shark can be fatal.”

Whitney said while there may be less media coverage of shark sightings this summer, that doesn’t mean there are fewer sharks in the water. “They’re definitely around this year – I don’t know the difference in shark activity,” he said. “We probably haven’t seen so many stories about them because there were so many other stories with the pandemic.”

Maine spokesman Joyce “Jay” McCreat, who is part of Harpswell, said she was not close to Golowach, met her through a joint book group in the islands and came across her at other social events in the past.

McCrath described Hollow as “a bright light, very bright, friendly and original.”

“I sent a message to make sure the members of the book group knew [what happened], and the message that she is a great asset to the community, a member of the community and a person who is very much liked, – McCreat emphasizes. “She was a person you feel the way you know because she’s so original.”

In cases where McCrate spoke to Golovach, she referred to her as “very easy to be, very friendly and a person who freely and calmly puts others.”

The team of Sea Bags, an accessory company based in the state of Maine, where Golovach was a member of the board, felt its tragedy on Tuesday.

Don Oaks, the company’s chief executive, said the company was “extremely shocked and saddened by the sudden and tragic losses.”

“Her passion for the ocean, Maine, and the reasons we believe in have made her an invaluable supporter and friend. Julie’s long-standing knowledge of retail and consumer goods has affected her contribution to our business,” Oakes said. “We share our feelings of loss with Julie’s family with a heavy heart. We will deeply miss Julie’s enthusiasm and positive spirit.”

Back in Harpswell, residents and visitors periodically stopped during a morning walk on the sandy roads of the island on Tuesday morning to discuss the horrors of the day before yesterday.

The Barnes family from Orchard Park, New York, walked along Harpswell Island Road, which runs through Bailey Island, around 8 a.m. and marveled at the horror of how they swam when they heard and rejected ambulances yesterday afternoon that roar to the south.

White said he swam in the bay for the first time in two years last weekend.

“It just doesn’t happen,” said Dave Barnes, who stays with his family at his mother’s home on the island every summer.

Mackerel Cove Beach was empty, except for a few visitors from Brunswick who hadn’t heard of the shark attack, and both immediately referred to the movie “Jaws” when they realized what had happened.

Lobsters near Glen’s lobsters, which were busy dragging in the morning, expressed equal surprise at the incident, noting how they rarely, if ever, see sharks when they are on a morning cruise.

A couple from New York, who heard the sirens on Monday, shook their heads, admitting that the horror of this particularly strange year followed them on vacation.

Hanna can be reached at hanna.krueger@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @hannaskrueger. Steve Anner can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear. Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney. Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com

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