On Wednesday, August 18th, following 5 more reported shark sightings, Nantucket decided to shutdown swimming and fishing along the south shore beaches.
Before this closing, there have been other reports of a shark seen feeding off a dead humpback whale near the Cape and multiple sharks within 100 yards of Chatham’s North Beach Island.
These shark sightings that incited Nantucket’s most recent beach closure were within 15 feet of the shoreline.
With shark sightings becoming more frequent, officials are prepared with the protocols to temporarily close the water for periods of time.
According to Nantucket Harbormaster Sheila Lucy, the decision to close the south shore beaches for the day was due to the close proximity and high counts of sightings within the single day.
The first shark sighting alert was at 12:25pm at Surfside Beach– in which the beach closed for 2 hours.
Within 30 minutes, Cisco Beach reported an unconfirmed shark sighting and closed off swimming to visitors. Soon afterwards, the harbormaster tweeted a confirmation on the shark sighting at Cisco Beach.
There had also been reports of sightings of a fin at Madaket Beach and Ladies Beach.
Confirmed fin sighting at Surfside beach. Surfside, Nobadeer and Miacomet are all closed to swimming for 2 hours. #staysafe #yikes pic.twitter.com/4n1uwtHGlk— ACK Harbormaster (@ackharbormaster) August 18, 2021
Confirmed shark at cisco beach!! Unconfirmed fin sightings at madaket and Ladies beach. South shore beaches CLOSED to swimming and fishing! #staysafe #beaware pic.twitter.com/Er3iE6HZyE— ACK Harbormaster (@ackharbormaster) August 18, 2021
Due to these events, Nantucket decided to close all swimming and fishing along the south shore beaches.
As of today, August 19th, Nantucket has reopened all beaches for the day.