REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP)- Lifeguards at a Delaware beach drew criticism for placing a 4-foot-long (1.2-meter-long) dying shark into a trash can, but a beach official says guards acted in the interest of public safety.           

An unresponsive shark that washed up on Rehoboth Beach over the weekend drew a crowd of onlookers, some of which were unhappy when guards disposed of it in a lined bin.           

Beach Patrol Capt. Kent Buckson said putting the shark in the can "wasn't the right thing," but that it was the only option for limiting beachgoers' contact with the lesion-covered fish with a possible parasite infection.           

He added that normally lifeguards would put it into a trash bag until public works could bury it, but the guards didn't have a bag that day.