Shark sighting leaves Orleans, Mass. on edge

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July 8, 2012, 11:58 am
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(NECN: Scot Yount,  Orleans, Mass.) - Nauset Beach in Orleans, Mass. has reopened, after a great white shark was spotted very close to shore.

"People are just flocking to the edge of the water," said Lee Miller, Beach Director for the town of Orleans.

A confirmed sighting of a great white shark left beach-goers on edge.

The animal was seen swimming just before 3 p.m. on Saturday.

 The alarm was sounded and out the swimmers came.

"Harbor Master came out did a sweep, our guards were watching, shut it down to swimming for the remainder of the day," Miller said.

The life guards went to work early today, to make sure everything was safe.

"We scanned the beach for about an hour just searching and saw nothing so it was determined that we should open up again, and our guards are ever vigilant, and should something appear we would go through the same process," Miller said.

Experts have been monitoring the sharks, some of which have been tagged with tracking devices. They are buoyed up, by what looks like an increasing population.

"As these sharks we now know are returning back to the area and new sharks are recruited to the area that we will probably have more and more each year," said Shark Expert Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries.

That comes as good news for biologists who are keenly interested in the sharks which can easily be 14 feet long. 
 The numbers, while growing are still quite small.

"It is hard to say how many, we are not talking about hundreds of animals here, we are talking about really probably what amounts to just a dozen or two," Skomal said.

*Photo Credit: Shelly Negrotti

Tags: Scot Yount, Great White Shark, Mass., Orleans, Nauset Beach, shark sighting, Orleans Mass.
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