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Man behind shark rescue credits quick-thinking beachgoers

In this Monday, July 13, 2015 photo provided by Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a great white shark is led back into the water near South Beach in Chatham, Mass. Beachgoers kept the shark, that was stuck on the beach, wet by splashing it with buckets of water until officials attached a line to its rear caudal fin and Harbormaster Stuart Smith pulled it back into open waters. (Atlantic White Shark Conservancy via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — The man who led the rescue of a great white shark stranded on a Cape Cod beach credits beachgoers for playing a key role.

Scientist Greg Skomal says they did the right thing by keeping the shark alive without touching what could have been a dangerous animal.

Beachgoers at South Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts, used buckets to splash water on the 7-foot shark Monday until officials towed it into open water.

Skomal is senior marine fisheries scientist for the state and says the shark was swimming in shallow water when the tide dropped quickly. He says that larger basking sharks sometimes get stranded but usually white sharks don’t.

Once back in open water, the shark was swimming on its own and appeared to be doing well.

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