Jaws II, the movie sequel to the Peter Benchley novel, opened last weekend and instantly set a record for gross receipts in one weekend - almost $10 million. But off Long Island yesterday, an even bigger whopper appeared to be lurking.
A charter boat captain reported he had harpooned a two-ton shark in the Atlantic and that the desperate fish was dragging his boat mile after mile out to sea.
John Sweetman, captain of the 40-foot Ebbtide, spotted a shark that appeared to be a man-eating great white yesterday morning about 15 miles off Long Island, site of the book "Jaws."
Sweetman, standing on deck 10 feet from the shark, plunged a harpoon just behind the top dorsal fin.
The huge fish shot away on a 150-foot stainless steel cable and made for deeper waters, dragging the boat and its five men.
Sweetman radioed a Montauk marina to say the shark appeared to be 28 feet lond and between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds.
Marine biologists at Montauk said great white sharks are extremely rare in the north Atlantic.
The Guinness Book of World Records says that in 1930 fishermen reported trapping a great white shark measuring 37 feet long off New Brunswick, Canada, but identification was not certain. In 1948, the book says, a great white shark measuring 21 feet and weighting 7.302 pounds was captured off Havana.