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Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
124 posts
57 reviews
Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

Wondering where is the safest area to swim or maybe just go for a dive in the Provincetown area beaches?

Read about the white shark presence and wondering what would be the safest beach (if there is any) for my children and i to go in the water in July...i noticed that most beaches, at low tide, become very shallow so i would figure it would be pretty safe to go in since a shark would get stuck on the beachbank.Also figure the golden rule of staying away from seals.

I'm an open water swimmer in my home town (in Portugal-Eutope) where there are NO sharks, so don't know anything about them, therefore don't know if i will risk swimming much in this area.

Any advice on what i should be looking out for? Other "golden rules" ?

Also, what can i expect regarding the sea water temperature in July?

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47 replies to this topic
Boston, MA
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
26,743 posts
67 reviews
1. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

The risk is minimal. There have been less sitings on bay beaches than ocean beaches (herring cove vs racepoint). I regularly go in the water there but tend to stick close to sure, I'm not swimming distances, more playing and cooling down in the water .... just a bit of swimming

Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
69 posts
68 reviews
2. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

I’ll preface this by saying the odds are astronomically low of an actual shark attack — yes, there are lots of great whites up and down the Cape these days (though more further south towards Chatham), but given all the people that swim in the water you have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning. That said, some general rules of thumb:

-bay side beaches have less shark activity than those on the open ocean

-don’t go swimming if you have cuts or are bleeding

-don’t go swimming near seals—if/when attacks do occur on humans, it’s almost always a case of mistaken identity

-don’t go swimming at dusk or dawn

-stay away from murky waters (eg a harbor)

Most importantly have a wonderful trip!!

Kent, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Provincetown, Wellfleet, Truro, North Truro
Level Contributor
7,043 posts
250 reviews
3. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

Herring Cove and Race Point are the two National Seashore beaches in Provincetown. Herring Cove faces Cape Cod Bay and has slightly warmer water than Race Point which faces the Gulf of Maine. I doubt if you will see a shark at either place. I have never heard of any shark sightings at Herring Cove. There was a sighting of a Basking Shark off Provincetown in 2013, but they are harmless to humans. Don't worry about it.

Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
124 posts
57 reviews
4. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

Thanks for such important tips..it's just because i saw some videos of great whites attacking seals in 2017 and 2016 so close to shore...and then i saw so many pics of beaches in cape cod...and although you see lots of people on the sand, don't see many people in the water...i figured it was either because of sharks or because the cold, hope it's because of the latter...;)...

Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
69 posts
68 reviews
5. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

It’s definitely the cold that keeps more people out of the water :) You’ll see lots of brave souls going in but i tend to be a “jump in, jump out” kinda person on the Cape. I love Cape Cod but the water is just a bit too cold for me!!

Boston...
Level Contributor
8,234 posts
6. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

Download the app Sharktivity to your phone. It will show you all shark sightings off of the Cape in present time and by date.

Agree that you should not worry unduly about this.

Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
124 posts
57 reviews
7. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

Thanks everyone...app installed...already checking the sightings...wow jaws could have been filmed just anwhere in cape cod...and wouldn't even need a robot :) :) ok, fast dips...in and out...better finding a place with a pool :)

Edited: 11 February 2018, 09:36
Kent, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Provincetown, Wellfleet, Truro, North Truro
Level Contributor
7,043 posts
250 reviews
8. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

i don't know about this "app" you have installed showing sharks (I don't have a phone like that), but I think that you overreacting to the threat of sharks.

Boston...
Level Contributor
8,234 posts
9. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

Mark, you have to click on the sightings to see the timeline. Often the same shark may be spotted over and over again on the same day. There really are not that many shark sightings in the summer in my experience. Don't fret about this.

Howland, the app is a reputable tool to alert people and insure safety: www.atlanticwhiteshark.org/sharktivity-map/

New Orleans...
Level Contributor
5,822 posts
133 reviews
10. Re: Sharks in Provincetown area (swimming advice)

Sharks eat seals. To them, seals are dinner. That's why the sharks are around the Outer Cape, because of the large seal population. Don't swim where you see seals. And yes the water is cold.

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