Sharks rarely represent anything good. If this story is anything like Moby Dick, or The Old Man and the Sea, a
shark might represent something like death or encroaching death. This story is
a little different, though.
By the time the shark shows up, we're well aware of how scared of death
the men are, but they're pretty worn out at this point—the shark is not the
only danger they face. If we focus on the correspondent's reaction to seeing
the shark, we notice that he's not necessarily afraid, he just wishes someone
else were awake with him to see it. It's almost like he's not so scared of
dying so much as dying alone. The arrival of the shark marks a change in the
way the correspondent sees the world, placing more importance on appreciating
the moments of life he has left than fearing death itself.