Town of Chatham issues shark notice to mariners and swimmers

Great white tagged off of South Beach in Chatham Tuesday

Swimmers, boaters advised to stay away from seals

The Harbor Master and Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Chatham have issued the following notice to mariners and swimmers regarding sharks in the waters of South Beach and North Beach Island:

Tuesday, the MA State Division of Marine Fisheries successfully tagged a great white shark off of South Beach in Chatham and identified several others in the area. During the last several weeks there have been numerous reports of sharks throughout southern Massachusetts waters and now again along Chatham's eastern shoreline. With this report, we may expect further reports of such activities along Chatham's barrier beach waters.

By order of the Chatham Harbor Master all beachgoers are herebyprohibited from swimming within 300 feet of observed seals in the wateralong Chatham's ocean side waters.

Again, swimmers should exercise caution while swimming in Chatham's ocean waters, particularly the waters off of South Beach and North Beach Island. In addition, people should avoid swimming in waters in the direct proximity of seals where sharks may be in search of prey.  Specifically, by order of the Chatham Harbor Master all beachgoers are hereby prohibited from swimming within 300 feet of observed seals in the water along Chatham's ocean side waters.

At this time, the Town of Chatham is not closing our east facing beaches to swimming, but is strongly suggesting that beachgoers and swimmers pay close attention to their surroundings while in the water and to not venture too far from shore.

If a shark is sighted, please get out of the water and contact the proper authorities:

  • Department of Energy & Environmental Affairs: Catherine Williams, 617-626-1809
  • Chatham Harbor Master, 508-945-5185
  • Chatham Police Department, 508-945-1213

Courtesy of the Town of Chatham.

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