Popular Cape Cod Beach Temporarily Closes After Great White Shark Sighting

Taking a swim in the ocean is a popular summertime activity in Cape Cod, but it is also a favorite spot for great white sharks.

Beachgoers are warned to be on the lookout for great white sharks. Purple flags with a silhouette of a great white are flying to remind people of the danger as well as beach signs warning swimmers of the risk of entering the water.

The signs read, “Great white sharks hunt seals in shallow water at this beach. People have been seriously injured and killed by white sharks along this coastline.”

Photo: Unsplash/Oleksandr Sushko

On Tuesday afternoon a great white shark was spotted off Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro. As a safety measure, Cape Cod beaches are closed for an hour to swimmers after a shark sighting.

No one was harmed and the beach reopened later that afternoon. While shark attacks are rare, they do still occur. The last fatal attack was in 2018.

Shark sightings continue to increase with four great whites spotted on June 5, according to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy app which tracks great white shark sightings.

Great white sharks are highly migratory and travel great distances every year. They tend to spend the winter in the south and many head north up the east coast in summer. The Cape Cod coast is a favorite spot for them due to the large amount of seal. The peak months for shark activity in the area is August through October.

If you plan on heading to Cape Cod, here are a few safety tips to follow provided by Cape Cod National Seashore.

Summer is here! Superintendent Brian Carlstrom, in collaboration with Outer Cape towns, recently held a media briefing…

Posted by Cape Cod National Seashore on Friday, July 2, 2021

Shark Smart Tips

  • Be aware sharks hunt for seals in shallow water.
  • Stay close to shore where rescuers can reach you.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Swim, paddle, kayak, and surf in groups.
  • Avoid areas where seals are present.
  • Avoid areas where schools of fish are visible.
  • Avoid murky or low-visibility water.
  • Limit splashing.
  • Follow all signage and flag warnings at beaches and instructions of the lifeguards.

However, the only way to remain completely safe is to avoid swimming in the ocean. Learn more about all the ways to “be shark smart” in the video below. Don’t forget to share!

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