Chatham closes beaches in new shark scare

20-foot great white shark tagged in Chatham Harbor

Atlantic beaches closed, Nantucket Sound beaches remain open

By Walter Brooks

The Chatham Harbormaster ordered Lighthouse Beach closed to swimming Thursday at 1 p.m., after a 20-foot great white shark was tagged leaving Chatham Harbor.

Andrew Harding Beach is included but those north of it are open.

According to the notice to mariners and swimmers printed below in its entirety, receiver buoys directly east of Chatham Harbor buoys were checked by state Division of Marine Fisheries officials Wednesday and revealed great white sharks were in the harbor on Aug. 30 and Sept. 9. These confirmed events, combined with Thursday's tagging of the shark leaving the harbor, led to the closure of Lighthouse Beach to swimming.

NOTICE to MARINERS AND SWIMMERS

Effective immediately, by order of the Harbormaster, Lighthouse Beach is closed to swimming until further notice.

Yesterday the Division of Marine Fisheries and Chatham Harbormaster personnel checked the receiver buoys located on Chatham Harbor buoys number 2 and 4 which are directly east of Lighthouse Beach in Chatham and have confirmed the presence of great white sharks within the harbor on August 30 and September 9, 2012. Additionally, this morning Division of Marine Fisheries personnel tagged an estimated 20’ great white shark leaving Chatham Harbor.

Given these latest reported developments, in addition to Lighthouse Beach, all east facing ocean beaches remain closed from the Orleans/Chatham line south along Nauset Beach to Monomoy until further notice.

All other public beaches remain open to swimming, including Hardings Beach, Ridgevale Beach, Cockle Cove Beach, Forest Street Beach and
Pleasant Street Beach along Nantucket Sound.

People should be aware of their surroundings and not swim within 300 feet of seals. If a shark is sighted, please report sighting to the Harbormaster’s office as listed below.

Reggie Zimmerman, Harbormaster -- (508) 945-5185 (for shark sighting reports) Parks & Recreation – (508) 945-5158 (for swimming and beach information)

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