MAYPORT, Fla. — Miss May is swimming on July Fourth.
The 800-pound, 10-foot white shark has been spotted electronically off the New Jersey shore just in time for Independence Day. Oceanographers tagged it in February in Mayport, Florida, so Miss May has come a long way to be here.
Suddenly, the big fish are starring in a summer like it’s 1975, when “Jaws” captivated the nation and turned them into monstrous villains in the collective awareness.
It’s a bit of a bad rap. You’re more likely to be killed by fireworks, lightning, stroke or heart disease. The odds of being killed by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067, the Florida Museum says.
And, as a glimpse of the crowded beach on this sunny holiday shows, plenty of folks were willing to take their chances.
“Nothing would keep us from coming out, especially on the Fourth of July,” Janice Tyson said.
Her daughter Cheryl Mehl of Pennsylvania said, “I feel safe with the lifeguards on duty doing their job. I feel very comfortable.”
Doug Huntziger and wife Jackie were having a great time with their two young sons. Doug even joked that he carries around 70 extra pounds, so he might make an easy meal for one of the big predators.
“I’ll fill him up pretty good,” he said. “Maybe he’ll go away.”