Metro

Shark sightings force swimmers out of the water in Plymouth, Cape Cod

A sign warns beachgoers of the presence of great white sharks at Lighthouse Beach in Chatham.
Julia Cumes for the Boston Globe
A sign warns beachgoers of the presence of great white sharks at Lighthouse Beach in Chatham.

Swimmers at Plymouth and Wellfleet beaches looking to catch a break from the oppressive heat were forced out of the water Monday afternoon after sharks were spotted lurking nearby.

Plymouth beaches were closed after a great white shark was seen off Manomet Point. Red flags were flying at the beaches as crews investigated, the Plymouth harbormaster tweeted shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Researchers with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy were about a quarter-mile from Marconi Beach in Wellfleet when they saw a great white shark at around 1:45 p.m. They reported it to beach officials, and lifeguards promptly pulled everyone out of the water, Leslie Reynolds, chief ranger at the Cape Cod National Seashore, said. The beach was closed for an hour as a standard precautionary measure.

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“We’re always concerned because the white sharks are feeding on seals and the seals are coming close to shore,” Reynolds said. “We tell people to stay close to shore, stay away from the seals.”

Marconi Beach has an average of 12 shark sightings per summer, Reynolds said. There have been more than two dozen shark sightings around Cape Cod in the past week, according to the shark monitoring app Sharktivity.

Andres Picon can be reached at andres.picon@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andpicon.