7News takes to Chatham waters in search of sharks
CHATHAM, Mass. (WHDH) -- 7News took to the waters off the coast of Chatham Thursday in search of the great white sharks that have been spotted nearly 30 feet from the shoreline.
"I have seen several sharks -- several great white sharks on this boat," said Captain Russel Peterson, Liveliner Sport Fishing.
Captain Russel Peterson of Liveliner Sport Fishing has spent more than 30 years fishing the waters of Chatham.
He says he's seen sharks up to 18-feet long, so the recent shark sightings off the Cape are no surprise to him.
Cape Cod shark hunters saw a 14-foot long shark just off South Beach in Chatham, no more than 30 feet from the shore.
"The thought of a shark coming near me, up in the water is pretty freaky," said Melissa Papa, a beachgoer.
The shark hunters also spotted a 16-foot, about 2,000-pound shark near Monomoy Island.
Officials say the last shark attack was in 1936 and that they are really after the seals that congregate on and near Chatham beaches.
But what does surprise Captain Peterson is that he has “noticed over the last 15 years because of the seals, there’s been more sharks. And I can only say that for the last 15 years.”
"This year I’m see larger numbers of seals than I’ve ever seen," Captain Peterson said.
And more seals mean more sharks. So Captain Peterson is concerned about where people choose to swim.
"I think they should watch where they swim. They can pick some nice areas in Nantucket Sound for swimming or up in Pleasant Bay. But they really got to use caution if they see any seals – think twice,” Captain Peterson said.
And that's exactly what beachgoers are doing.
"It's one of those things you hope doesn't happen when you come down to the beach but it definitely makes you think about jumping in the water," said Michael Killian, a beachgoer.