Shark Sightings Prompt Beach Closures, Concern on Cape Cod

Beachgoers at Nauset Light saw the shark attack the seal at around 4 p.m. Wednesday

Officials say two Cape Cod beaches closed after visitors spotted a great white shark biting a seal and spitting it back out onto the beach.

Beachgoers at Nauset Light saw the shark attack the seal around 4 p.m. Wednesday, which resulted in a pool of blood. The seal was then thrown out of the water onto the beach, where it died.

"A lifeguard saw a fin and everyone saw a lot of blood in the water," Leslie Reynolds, chief ranger of the Cape Cod National Seashore, told the Cape Cod Times. "The seal swam to the beach and died."

shark seal cape cod kevin riley
Kevin Riley

A one-hour swimming suspension was issued for Nauset Light and Coast Guard beach, due to their close proximity to each other.

Just a day later, what is believed to be a shark was spotted swimming extremely close to the shore of a another Cape Cod beach.

NBC Connecticut meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan said he was at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Thursday night when he saw what appeared to be a shark near the shore. He shot video of its fin cutting through the water a short distance from the beach.

Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries says the shark in Hanrahan's video was most likely a basking shark.

The sightings come one week the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy spotted 17 to 19 sharks off the Massachusetts coast in a single research trip. 

Great white sharks have been spotted on the Cape in increasing numbers in recent years due to the large number of seals, a primary food source.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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