Man finds 5-foot shark on early morning beach run

This shark was found on Sullivan's Island by a runner early Wednesday morning. (Source: Tyler Jones)

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- An early morning run along the shore on Sullivan's Island led to an interesting find for one man.

Steve Colman said he was running near Station 18 around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday and spotted something in the surf several yards away. At first, he said, he thought it was just a sand sculpture.

However, it turned out to be a dead shark. Colman said he tried to open the shark's mouth with his foot and realized it was dead and that rigor mortis had set in.

He estimated the shark was at least five feet long.

Arnold Postell, a senior biologist and dive safety officer said based on the photos, it was difficult to tell exactly what species of shark Colman found.

"There's a few species that it was very close," Postell said. "In the end, a lot or people get excited when sharks are seen. But its just a general reminder that we do have sharks off our coast. Sometimes they do interact with people."

Fire and Rescue Chief Anthony Stith said the shark may have been trapped in a gully that runs for a distance down the beach. Stith said while the state Department of Natural Resources was contacted, the agency wasn't interested, so the town sent a backhoe to the beach, dug a hole and buried the shark.

Stith said the shark appeared to be a blacktip, which is usually found in warm, coastal waters around the world.