I have always found sharks to be fascinating creatures but nonetheless very scary ones too. I have lived by the open waters all my life and have never personally had to deal with any sort of shark problems but I have heard some pretty gory tales about what a shark can do to a human body if it decides to attack one.

The Discovery Channel starts its Shark Week airing on August 22, 2009 at 9 pm ET. Blood in the Water is a two hour special that tells of true life stories which in fact had inspired the box office hit movie Jaws.

It brings us back to the year 1916 on the shores of Beach Haven, New Jersey where people were coming from everywhere during a heat wave that was driving them to the beaches to cool off in the waters while celebrating the Fourth of July. No one had ever heard of any problems in the States with man-eating sharks so no one had any reason to fear swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.

A man and his sister had traveled by train just to spend the holiday on the beach. Charles wanted to go swimming even though there weren’t too many people in the water. He headed out into the deeper waters with his dog following him until suddenly he appears to have lost his enthusiasm and turned back towards the beach instead. Now it is said that a shark can sense movement by the vibes in the water which can be heard by a shark and it attracts them to the movements.

People on the beach started noticing something strange when they saw Charles suddenly flapping his arms going up and down in the water as though he was having a struggle. The lifeguard decides to go out in the water to try and help him but by the time he swims out to Charles, a shark has hold of him and keeps dragging him under. The lifeguard manages to get the shark to let loose after a battle with him and they gets Charles out the water and into the hotel where he dies from a loss of too much blood.

Specialists in New York have a hard time believing that a killer shark would be in the area so they come to New Jersey to investigate. Charles was documented as the first man killed by a shark in the United States. Dr. Frederick Lucas refused to believe this could be a great white shark in this area and he claimed that only a great white would attack people.

As the holiday goes on folks at the Spring Lake resort in New Jersey are celebrating as usual in the water where they all want to cool off. The 4th of July came and went with no disasters but on July 6th a bellhop, from one of the hotels at the resort decides to go off into the deeper waters. The bellhop swam further even though the lifeguard had talked to him earlier about the incident in Beach Haven. He wasn’t worried about any shark attack. The life guard noticed something wrong and before long he was getting help getting the boat into the water to go check on the man only they too were too late. The man had a shark attack him and ended up biting off his two legs before they got him into the boat. He was dead before they could get him to shore. This was enough to scare the people and had them staying out of the water. Some were leaving the resort thinking the mountains would be a better place for vacationing. John Nichols from New York City came to help investigate.

A total of five attacks were reported in a period of 12 days causing a nationwide panic. This was he first multiple shark attack in American history. There was only one of the five people that survived and was able to talk about it.

The attacks in Matawan NJ set off a rage in the local townspeople who were determined to capture this man-eating killer and Blood In The Water shows how they put together their attacks on the shark.

I think Blood In The Water shows just how dangerous these sharks are to people. Discovery informs the public of areas to look out for that the sharks like to stay in and warns you of the dangers of them. I think it should be a pretty successful show. Be sure to watch it, you never know what you might learn but I have to warn you, there are some pretty graphic scenes.

Jan Barrett

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