Beachgoers who tried to enjoy Cape Cod’s Nauset beach on Monday got more than a summer day on the sand and views of the eclipse.
The beach day turned frightening as swimmers saw a shark attack a seal only yards away from the shore. The shark took a fatal bite of the seal, turning the water red with blood.
One beachgoer captured the scene in a video later posted to Twitter. In the video, dozens of people stand around and watch as the cloud of blood blooms in the ocean.
“I was standing in the ocean when I looked down the beach and saw a HUGE splash right where the waves break,” one witness named Hilary Jackson wrote on Facebook. “My first thought was that a shark attacked a seal. At that moment the lifeguards cleared everyone out of the water — It was a real life Jaws moment.”
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Two surfers, teenagers visiting from New York, were out in the water at the time of the attack. They can be seen in the far right of the video, scrambling to shore with their boards tethered to their ankles.
Shark attack at Nauset Beach pic.twitter.com/wR2fmCYjxE— Patrick O'Brien (@PatrickOBrien36) August 21, 2017
Pat O’Brien, whose Twitter account posted the video (taken by his nephew) told WBZ that those on the sand yelled to the surfers that there was a shark and to swim away. One of the surfer’s got his foot tangled in the cord that connects to his board.
“He reached up and he yelled ‘Help me! Help me!’ and I grabbed his right arm and another guy grabbed his left arm and we pulled him out,” O’Brien told WBZ.
Officials closed the water to swimmers following the incident.
The Sharktivity App, developed by Massachusetts Marine Fisheries and the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, confirmed the sighting of the great white at Nauset beach, which is in Orleans.
It wasn’t the only shark spotted off Cape Cod on Monday — there were nine shark sightings off the Cape in total, according to the app, stretching from Chatham to Provincetown.
The conservancy also confirmed the “predation” off Nauset beach around 1:40 p.m.
After the shark sighting followed by the solar eclipse, Aaron Goldman commented on Facebook that “I feel like I spent the afternoon in a double-feature of Planet Earth episodes.”
Beaches are not closed on Tuesday, said a spokesperson from the Orleans Police Department. Signs greeting those who step onto the beach as well as flags warn any brave beachgoers that there was a recent shark sighting and to “use area at own risk.”