Kaitlin McKinley Becker

Shark Sightings Temporarily Close Cape Cod Beaches

'We saw three seals already,' one beachgoer said. 'When there are seals, there are sharks. When there's saltwater, there's sharks.'

There were multiple shark sightings reported Sunday on Cape Cod, which temporarily closed two beaches to swimming.

A great white shark was spotted at Nauset Beach off the coast of Orleans, which closed the water to swimmers from 1:50 to 2:50 p.m.

Rick Iannopollo is on the Cape vacationing but says the Nauset Beach shark sighting doesn’t disrupt his vacation at all.

“No, no, no. Not that worried about sharks, and I watched ‘Jaws’ like 18 times so I’m still not worried about sharks,” he said.


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A shark was also spotted earlier in the day at Race Point Beach in Provincetown. Following the 9:56 a.m. sighting, that beach was closed to swimming for an hour, as well.

Both beaches have since reopened.

Around the same time as the Nauset Beach sighting, another shark was spotted near Chatham. A picture from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity app shows a shadowy figure near a boat, and the conservancy says it’s a great white.

"It's something that we hadn't experienced in the past so apparently we are taking really good care of the seals," Heather Hellstrom of Chatham said.

Gray seals are shark food and the reason for so many sightings. Seal hunting was outlawed in the 1970s, allowing the gray seals population to grow ever since.

"We saw three seals already," one beachgoer said. "When there are seals, there are sharks. When there's saltwater, there's sharks."

On Saturday in Cape Cod Bay, a great white jumped out of the water as a fish was being reeled in.

The recent shark sightings have towns like Barnstable debating whether sirens could help alert swimmers faster.

The conservancy reports the only way to stay away from sharks is to stay out of the water.

Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's scientist Megan Winton explains why this never-before-filmed encounter between two sharks is so exciting.
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