A shark sighting closed a Cape Cod beach over the weekend. The shark was spotted by a lifeguard, prompting the closure of Nauset Beach in Massachusetts.
The lifeguard reported the sighting on Sunday morning. The shark was approximately 150 yards from the beach. Visitors were asked to stay out of the water for over an hour as the area was scanned.
As reported by NBC News, swimmers were eventually allowed back into the water as no other shark activity was observed.
Harbormaster Dawson Farber has stated that the lifeguard identified the shark as a great white. Farber explains that “the shape and color of the fin,” led to his conclusion. He is now concerned that news of a shark sighting will draw tourists to the area.
While tourists may boost the local economy, Farber is concerned for their safety:
“I’m anticipating that it will be a draw for people … we really feel the need to raise the education level of the people who come down here … there is an inherent risk any time you go in the Atlantic Ocean.”
Shark sightings are expected to rise as they return to the area to feed on grey seals. Federal protection of the seals has lead to steady increase in the local population. Unfortunately, the seals are drawing sharks to the popular vacation destination.
Thankfully, the shark sighting closed the Cape Cod beach before anyone was harmed. It is estimated that the shark was nearly 15 feet long.
As reported by ABC News, the first shark of the season was actually spotted on Friday, nine miles from Sunday’s shark. The first shark was estimated to be around 13 feet long.
Last summer Chris Myers was bitten by a shark while swimming close to Ballston Beach in Massachusetts. It appeared that he was bitten by a great white shark as both of his legs were taken in one bite.
The shark sighting closed a Cape Cod beach only briefly. However, tourists are reminded to remain cautious and responsible when swimming in the ocean.
[Image via Flickr]