Shark Safety Tips

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This 12-foot shark was photographed Friday by spotter pilot Wayne Davis as it attacked a gray seal. WAYNE DAVIS PHOTO/COURTESY ATLANTIC WHITE SHARK CONSERVANCY/MASS. DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES

Great white sharks have been photographed recently feeding close to shore, so this is a good time to remind beachgoers of the need to keep safety in mind when swimming off the Cape’s eastside beaches. While shark attacks on humans are rare, one did occur off Truro in 2012, so authorities urge caution whenever swimming in the ocean.

These safety tips were issued this week by the Cape Cod National Seashore:

• Do not swim near seals.

• Swim close to shore, where your feet can touch the bottom.

• Swim, paddle, kayak, and surf in groups.

• Do not swim alone in the ocean at dawn or dusk. Avoid isolation.

• Limit splashing and do not wear shiny jewelry.

• Follow instructions of lifeguards. Become familiar with the beach flag warning system.

Take time to read signage at the beaches produced by the towns of Cape Cod and the Islands, the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. Safety brochures are also available in town visitors centers and elsewhere, and have worked together to produce shark advisory signs for beaches, and brochures that provide education and safety tips for beach users. Brochures about shark information may be obtained at all National Park Service beaches and be seen on the park’s website at nps.gov/ caco.