This summer, Cape Cod has become home to an accidental swim with sharks tourism program as Great Whites lurk around shallow waters in the area. However, swimming with them is not encouraged as beaches have been closed and swimming bans are changing summer vacations of visitors in the busy Massachusetts tourist area.
On Saturday, Nauset Beach in Orleans was closed after a 12-to-14 foot Great White shark was spotted just 100-150 yards off shore. One beachgoer got an even closer look as he was kayaking for the very first time. The Great White shark was following Walter Szulc less than 10 feet behind his kayak.
Hundreds of beachgoers spotted the shark and began screaming at Szulc, who was unaware that he had a swimming stalker. "I looked back and that's when the shark was right behind me," Szulc told ABC. "I saw the fin right away and I figured this is it or I'm going to paddle in," he continued.
After the sighting, 3,000 people were warned and told not go to into the water as the beach remained closed the rest of the day. On Sunday, the beach reopened according to Fox News.
Last week, beachgoers in Chatham, Massachusetts were advised not to go swimming. The Cape Cod Chronicle took to Twitter to say "Chatham issues advisory after numerous shark sightings, banning swimming within 300 feet of seals along eastern coast."
The large sharks, which can measure between 12-to-20-feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds, are believed to be hanging around the area as they hunt for their next meal. However experts advise that the sharks aren't looking to attack people, but rather one of the seals in the area.
Cape Cod has seen an increase in the seal population and there are believed to be an estimated 7,000 seals near its beaches. The Great Whites seem to have gotten the memo about the seal hangout spot as seal carcasses were found along North Beach Island and Monomoy's eastern shores.
Even though the sharks aren't looking to attack humans, it isn't hard for a shark to mistake a human for a seal, which can lead to a deadly attack. This is why swimmers are being warned as the Great Whites are spotted around the area on several occasions this summer.
Ever since the 1975 movie "Jaws" was released, the fear of Great Whites has increased. However, despite the swimming bans and closed beach warnings, tourists aren't fleeing the area. In fact the shark sightings are drawing more tourists who hope to get a live view of one of the beasts.
They just won't get a view as close as Szulc had on his kayak.