Two Cape Cod beaches were closed and swimmers were called out of the water this week after beachgoers witnessed a great white shark attacking a seal, before spitting the unfortunate animal out onto the Eastham shoreline.
The attack took place around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, just off Nauset Light, according to the Boston Globe. Beachgoers watched as the great white shark bit into the unfortunate seal, leaving a pool of blood atop the waves. Just moments later, the seal was thrown out of the water, reaching the shore before it died.
— Atlantic White Shark (@A_WhiteShark) June 30, 2015
Lifeguards quickly pulled swimmers from the ocean and closed the beach, as well as nearby Coast Guard beach, which is located less than a mile away from the site of the shark attack, according to ABC News. Paige Long, a dispatcher with the Cape Cod National Seashore, asserted that the beach closures are standard protocol following a shark sighting. Should a person be injured by a great white shark, protocol dictates that the shorelines remain closed for longer. By 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, when lifeguards went off-duty, the beaches remained closed.
— Cape Cod Times (@capecodtimes) August 13, 2015
— Boston News Now (@bostonnewsnow) August 14, 2015
Great white sharks have become an increasingly common presence along the cape in recent years, drawn to the region by a population of seals that represent their primary food source. Wednesday’s incident was hardly the first time beachgoers have witnessed a white shark attacking a seal, as the Inquisitr has previously reported. Earlier this year, swimmers at Coast Guard Beach watched as a great white shark preyed upon a seal just a few hundred yards from the main swimming beach. The attack transpired within 20 yards of a group of surfers, who quickly swam to shore after the white shark made its presence known.
— Atlantic White Shark (@A_WhiteShark) July 7, 2015
Researchers have also managed to observe and photograph predation events involving great white sharks in the waters surrounding the cape over recent years. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, which is conducting a population study regarding the animals, employs the services of a spotter plane, which has photographed attacks on several occasions. Earlier this year, the research team was also able to photograph several such events when great white sharks attacked seals just a few yards from their vessel.