Reporting Joe Shortsleeve
TRURO (CBS) – State shark experts are have concluded their investigation of the Cape Cod swimmer who was attacked last week. After talking to the survivor and seeing the bite marks, officials have concluded the man swimming off Ballston Beach in Truro was attacked by a Great White.
Now Truro town officials want lifeguards on duty at that beach to protect swimmers. But Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve found out, in a small town it all comes down to money.
“I like the fact that it is an unprotected beach but who knows, it may need to happen,” says Charlotte Doherty, a Truro lifeguard.
Doherty prefers to spend her free time at Truro’s Ballston Beach because there are no lifeguards and she is not sure people want to see that change just because of the shark attack.
“I can see people being upset about it because they come here because it is an unprotected beach,” says Doherty.
But ever since a Denver man was bitten by a Great White shark on July 30th, Truro town leaders have been considering adding full time lifeguards to all four town beaches. Currently only two town beaches are staffed.
Rex Peterson is the Truro Town Administrator. He says, “Some people feel if a lifeguard had been on duty they would have perhaps told the swimmer not to swim out so far or maybe they would have spotted the fin.”
It is an issue of cost, in this case $50,000 for Ballston Beach. That is what town leaders say it would cost to hire four lifeguards with equipment. And if you add guards to the town’s other unprotected beach it’s another $50,000.
Peterson says, “I think it is a good idea but it is an expensive proposition.”
Despite the cost, beach-goers seem to like the idea.
One woman told us, “I think one would be nice.”
A man walking with small children said, “You feel a little safer with the kids when the lifeguards are around.”
Another swimmer said, “If it is more likely that they can spot the sharks then why not.”
Even if three of Truro’s five selectmen vote yes, the changes will not take place this year. So it will still be swim at your own risk the rest of this summer.