Walter Szulc was enjoying the day paddling a kayak for the first time just off Nauset Beach on Friday when he did a quick shoulder check and what he saw was terrifying. A large great white shark, with its dorsel fin cutting through the water, just two meters away, stalking him. He tells WHDH News
, "I looked behind me and that's when I saw the shark which was pretty much right there. I got a pretty good glimpse of it and it was a good size and it had a fin sticking out so I just started to paddle." The shark is estimated to have been about 3-4 meters long.
Beach goers and a nearby surfer spotted the shark first but Szulc didn't see as swimmers ran onto the shore, nor did he hear them yelling "shark, shark, paddle, paddle, paddle." Ironically Szulc says when they got to the beach his daughter didn't want to go into the water because she's afraid of sharks. He says he teased her about it and told her there was nothing to worry about.
Lifeguards immediately closed the beach until Sunday, but are warning people to stay close to shore.
There has been a rash of sightings of sharks around Cape Cod recently, the setting for the 1975 Steven Spielberg movie Jaws. Greg Skomal, a senior biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries tells ABC News
that the Great White sharks are drawn to the area because of the booming gray seal population... the shark's favourite meal.
There was another close call Saturday on the west coast at Pleasure Point in Northern California. An ABC News affiliate
reports a kayaker who was fishing was suddenly thrown into the water when a 6 meter Great White shark bit the front end of his kayak. Capitola Police officer Chad Keane says the man told him ""he felt this tremendous bump to the back of the kayak, which lifted the back of the kayak actually out of the water. At the same time, he saw the head on the front of the kayak, taking a bite of the kayak. He was subsequently thrown into the water." Based on the size of the bite mark on the kayak and a tooth fragment, Keane believes the shark that attacked was a Great White.
And just last week Digital Journal
told you about an 800lb Mako shark that was caught off the coast of Marina Del Rey in Southern California.
All of these incidents may have some beach goers repeating the tag line for Jaws 2 "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..."