Scott Kelly was pulling in lobster pots about 100 yards off Manomet Point in Plymouth on Thursday afternoon when he looked up and saw a great white shark preparing to attack a seal about 40 feet away from his boat.
“I saw a big, giant tail come out of the water first,” Kelly said in a phone interview Friday morning. “The top half surfaced with its mouth wide open . . . When it went underwater, you could see an explosion of red water.”
Kelly, a plumber who lives near Manomet Point in White Horse Beach, has a residential lobster license. He said he was out on the water in his 14-foot skiff to pull in his lobster pots for the season when he saw the attack around 4 p.m.
Kelly said the predation was only about 4o feet from his boat, and he managed to catch it on video.
“[I was] just kind of amazed, but I wasn’t scared enough to stop recording,” he said.
When the feeding frenzy started to move toward his boat, coming within 25 feet, Kelly said he knew it was time to leave the area. He estimated the shark to be about as big as his boat, and said it was the first time he had seen a shark near White Horse Beach.
White Horse Beach is a well-known area in Cape Cod Bay for seals to gather, said John Chisholm, a shark biologist working with the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries.
He said the video is a good reminder that sharks are still around, despite the unseasonably cold weather.
“We know as the water starts to cool in the fall, the majority of the sharks head south, but . . . there’s a fair amount left,” he said. “We will have sharks into December, but it really drops off [at] the end of November.”
Chisholm said there are occasional sightings of sharks, or dead seals washing ashore with shark bite marks, throughout the year.