Swimmers and surfers at Nauset Beach hurried to dry land Friday afternoon after a great white shark was seen eating a seal close to the shore.
Ken Martin, 59, of West Roxbury recorded a video of the incident on his phone, which shows the partially eaten seal and the shark in shallow water on the Chatham side of Nauset Beach.
“It was a total bloodbath,” Martin said. “You have to be aware. You can’t get near the seals.”
Martin, a longtime visitor to Cape beaches, said that shouts of a shark in the water are common, but sometimes in jest.
“We hear that pretty regularly in Nauset, especially during Shark Week,” he said.
Martin estimated that the shark was approximately 20 feet off the shore, and, he said, a group of surfers were not aware that the creature was lurking nearby.
“People on the shore were all yelling and waving at the surfers,” He said. “The key was to get them in on the perimeter.”
Everyone in the water made it to the shore safely and a head count was taken, Martin said.
The harbormaster and Orleans Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The shark was identified as a great white by Greg Skomal, a state shark expert for the Division of Marine Fisheries. According to Skomel, a similar incident happened last year at Nauset Beach and no one was hurt.
“The sharks are there for the seals,” Skomal said. “This particular incident, like last year’s incident clearly demonstrates that. If it was that close to surfers and picked off a seal, clearly they are interested in seals.”
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