Great White Sharks found in the waters off Chatham


Paula & Tim Miller
The Carriage House

The beginning of September brought a flurry of interest to Chatham in the form of great white shark sightings. Chatham is home to thousands of seals which are protected by law. Their increased numbers has apparently caught the interest of their predator the great white shark which is also protected. Great whites are fairly rare in these northern climes. Marine biologists were able to tag no less than 5 of the big scary fish for tracking. The water this far north is thought to be too cold for them.

All of this also brought the hysteria of the national news media eager to whip up anything into an intimidating and dramatic news story. During the week there were no less than 4 news trucks crowding out the visitors and tourists at the parking lot of Lighthouse beach. The town got into the act and immediately closed all the beaches in Chatham to swimming. Fortunately it was September and wasn’t really swimming weather. You can still stroll the beautiful expanses of the beaches hoping to have your very own “jaws” moment and catch a glimpse of a menacing dorsal fin. Fact of the matter is that there has only been one fatality from a great white in Massachusetts since 1936 and that was in 1936. Bottom line: the beaches in Chatham are pretty safe for swimming when normal cautions are taken ie: don’t strap a piece of steak to your midriff. Scientists also don’t recommend that you go swimming in a seal costume, save that for Halloween. There is always a silver lining. The seal tours in Chatham have been filled to capacity as all of our guests would like to have a glimpse of a great white. A recent guest, Liz was kind enough to send us this photo from their September stay with this photo attached. We are still laughing!! Nice job on photo shop! Remember the movie Jaws…..

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