Wellfleet Shark
Beachgoers at White Crest Beach, Cape Cod, try in vain to rescue a stranded great white sharkWellfleet Police Department: Facebook

Beachgoers and holidaymakers in Massachusetts tried in vain to come to the rescue of one of the sea's fiercest predators, the great white shark, that washed up on a beach in the US state. The 14ft shark was discovered at White Crest Beach in Wellfleet on Sunday (6 September) 100 miles from Boston on Cape Cod.

Crowds gathered round the beast using seaside buckets to pour water over it to keep the shark hydrated, and also carved out a channel to guide the creature back to the water. Despite the best efforts of those gathered on the beach the shark did not survive its ordeal.

Eyewitness Robyn Schnaible posted a video of the rescue on social media network Vimeo.

Conservancy co-founder Cynthia Wigren said that the team had arrived to see the tide was going out and the only option left was to tie a line to the shark and tow it into open water. She told CapeCod.com: "We had the shark next to the side of the boat for a little over an hour trying to get water over its gills and revive it, which we had success with the shark off of Chatham. But unfortunately this shark showed no signs of surviving."

A autopsy on the male shark was conducted later on Sunday afternoon on the Chatham Fish Pier by state shark researcher Dr Greg Skomal who was accompanied by officials from the conservancy. Wigren added: "At this point, different parts of it will go to different scientists to try and learn as much as we can about this animal."

This was not the first time local residents had tried to rescue a creature washed up on its beaches. In July, people successfully saved a shark in Chatham after it washed ashore.

Steven Spielberg's hit movie Jaws was set in Amity Island, a fictional resort in Massachusetts.