CHATHAM (CBS) – New great white shark sightings are popping up startlingly close to Cape Cod’s populated beaches.
“One was by Nauset Beach about 30 feet off the shore, which is pretty close for a large animal of that size to be,” says Niko Chaprales. He and his father, Bob, are Cape Cod Shark Hunters. They harpoon sharks with tags for research.
Tuesday morning, their spotter pilot took photos of two new great whites that had not been previously tagged. Aside from the one near Nauset Inlet, He snapped a picture of another chasing a seal on to the sand near Chatham’s South Beach.
On Nauset Beach, where people were gathering Tuesday night for holiday celebrations, the word spread fast. “I’m a little surprised. That does cause a little concern for me,” said Lori Richard, visiting from New York.
Nearby, a group was grilling hot dogs on the beach. “It would definitely keep me out of the water,” said Jean Torrpey. “I get my feet wet, but that’s about it!”
Chaprales points out there has not been a fatal human shark attack in Massachusetts in more than 80 years. Still he admits he does not swim in the ocean where he fishes. “Do you close Alaska for polar bears? No. They’re animals. You should be aware that they’re there. Don’t swim within 300 feet of the seals. Don’t swim at dawn or dusk,” he advises.
No Cape Cod beaches have been closed to swimming, although officials are warning swimmers to use caution.