Hammerhead Shark Pops Up Off East Hampton Coast

Elias, a hammerhead shark, was photographed when he was tagged back in July. OCEARCH

A shark that was tagged in a Montauk tournament last month is sticking close to home, it would seem.

The seven-foot smooth hammerhead shark has shown up off the East Hampton shoreline, according to its online global shark tracker. Named Elias, he has been hanging out in the East Hampton area for the past few days. Tagged in the Carl Darenberg Memorial Shark's Eye Tournament in Montauk on July 19, the 100-pound shark popped up off Bridgehampton Sunday morning. On a Twitter page set up to keep tabs on it, a message was posted about the shark's arrival in town for the Hampton Classic Horse Show, which began Sunday.

The GPS tracker has since put Elias off East Hampton, in the area of Two Mile Hollow Beach in the village, on Monday morning. It's latest ping was on Tuesday at 10:06 a.m., somewhere off the coast of Amagansett. It had been mainly off western Long Island and New Jersey before heading to Martha's Vineyard and now back to the South Fork. 

Elias is the first smooth hammerhead tagged by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries in cooperation with OCEARCH, a nonprofit research group that focuses on great white sharks and other species.

There's no way to tell Elias's exact location using the map on OCEARCH's website, however, and no one at the organization would say. "For the safety and protection of the sharks, we don't release exact geopositioning location points to the public," Ami Meite, the communications assistant at OCEARCH, said. 

It's been busy as usual at the beaches, John Ryan Jr., the chief of the East Hampton Town lifeguards, said Tuesday afternoon. There have been no confirmed shark sightings this summer, though there have been reports of some close to the shore that lifeguards have "disproved as sunfish or dolphin." 

OCEARCH is tracking more than 100 sharks all over the world, including Mary Lee, a 3,500-pound great white that made a splash when she was off the south shore of Long Island in May. 

The hammerhead was caught by Dave Grimes in the third annual catch-and-release tournament, and while the plan had been for the sharks to be named after the anglers, Mr. Grimes let the volunteer observer do the honors, and Elias it was. 

To track Elias's movements or the location of any other tagged sharks, visit OCEARCH.org