This summer (June 20, to be precise) marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Jaws, the first summer blockbuster and a movie that if watched backwards becomes about a shark that keeps throwing people up until they have to open a beach. To celebrate, a giant great white shark has appeared off the coast of Long Island and is swimming around scaring a bunch of dummies who seem to think Jaws was a documentary. The New York Post reports that “authorities have no plan in place to protect swimmers” if the shark gets too close to the beach, which is sensational alarmism at its finest.

The great white shark Mary Lee first appeared off the coast of Long Island over the weekend after swimming north from the Jersey Shore, where she didn’t bite any guidos. Mary Lee is outfitted with a tracking device monitored by shark-monitoring non-profit OCEARCH, which an intrepid observer watches and posts updates of her whereabouts to Twitter. Apparently the Post thinks OCEARCH and whoever is Long Beach’s equivalent of Mayor Larry Vaughan should relay that information to lifeguards, who can then alert swimmers if the shark gets too close so beachgoers can run away screaming in terror or make “we’re going to need a bigger boat” jokes.

The Post went to Robert Moses State Park and talked to a young lady who said, “I don’t want to be part of Jaws 3,” which shows how much she knows! There’s already been 4 Jaws movies.

A Parks Department rep told the Post that if a shark gets within a quarter mile of the beach, they’ll close it. But if you’re really worried about getting eaten by a great white shark, maybe don’t go to the beach this summer. People hardly get killed by sharks at all. Shark experts advise just don’t act like a seal and you’ll probably be alright. “We’re not a normal prey, so I wouldn’t be concerned,” Chris Berger, president of OCEARCH, told the Post. “Plus, people are swimming with sharks every time they go in the ocean.” You can track Mary Lee here.

(Photo: Scuba Vagabond)