I haven't spent a lot of time on the ocean. Certainly not as much as I'd like. And beyond that, have definitely never sailed, or know much about nautical anything. It's funny, as I write that, I feel a like a little less of a Mainer. So yeah, all those flags and such that mean all the different things? I have no clue.

But, Maine will be hoisting a different kind of flag this year, after a terrible tragedy off the coast of Harpswell last year, where a woman was fatally attacked by a great white shark. Coastal parks around the state will now be flying shark warning flags when sharks are spotted in the water, warning swimmers of their presence.

It won't be hard to miss, either. Unlike all those nautical flags I mentioned earlier, this flag gets right to the point. It's a plain purple flag, with a white silhouette of a shark in the middle, according to WGME. If a shark is seen or reported, then this flag will go up as a first line of defense against attacks. I even found them for sale online.

If you've spent any amount of time on Massachusetts beaches at all, then you may already be familiar with these flags, as they're used frequently along their coast, as there a lot more shark sightings off the coast of Mass. Here in Maine, the flags will also fly at the Haprswell location where the fatal attack happened last year.

Lord knows, no one wants another sad situation like last year. And any kind of prevention can't be a bad thing. Of course, there are all kinds of safety tips for avoiding a shark attack. Feel free to check out some of those ways to avoid one here. Most of all though, don't stop enjoying Maine's waters, just be wicked careful.

Shark Species in Maine

Maine Beaches We Love

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