‘My God, Shark!’: Cape Cod Boaters Encounter Great White

Boaters cried out in shock and surprise as they experienced an unusually close encounter with a great white shark just off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts, this week, while one of them was able to capture the predator on video.

The great white was spotted on Thursday, as witnesses related that the shark swam alongside their boats in a channel off South Beach. Experts claimed that the 15-foot-long shark, a male, was most likely hunting for seals when it was caught in the channel at low tide, the Daily Mail reports.

Seventeen-year-old Kelsey Shakin was able to record a video as the great white approached her family’s boat, while other passengers shouted. Her 13-year-old sister, Catherine, later told WCVB, “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, there’s a shark.’ And it was really, really big.” Another witness can be heard yelling “My God, Shark!” as the great white passes the vessel.

Jess Metzler, who also witnessed the shark, said that the great white approached so closely that she would have been able to touch it, adding, “It was right on the side of the boat.” The sighting prompted town officials in Chatham to issue a warning to swimmers about the great white, though beaches remained open on Friday.

The encounter is hardly the first for Cape Cod, which has experienced a tourism boom amid a rise in great white shark sightings this summer. While the species was in decline during the 1970s and 80s, recent data shows that the Atlantic population of great whites is rebounding, due in no small part to conservation efforts. As The Inquisitr has noted, a vibrant colony of seals draws the sharks to the cape, where prey is plentiful. Sightings of the sharks have increased in recent years, and more than a dozen of the normally elusive predators have been observed off Cape Cod just this year.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a non-profit currently engaged in a population study of great whites, shared another video on Thursday showing the male shark swimming off the coast of Chatham. John Chisholm, of the Massachusetts Shark Research program, was able to capture video of the great white using a GoPro camera.

[Image via Examiner]