National Seashore Officials Urge Safety First as Summer Picks Up

Great white shark off Coast Guard Beach in Eastham. Photo credit: Pam King, Cape Wide News

WELLFLEET- With summer in full swing on Cape Cod and travel forecasts expecting 2021 to be one of the busiest seasons on record, the Cape Cod National Seashore and Outer Cape Towns are collaborating to promote ocean safety awareness.

Superintendent Brian Carlstrom said that the public has a responsibility to recreate safely when enjoying The National Seashore and Outer Cape Beaches.

“Just as we did last summer and every summer, we will continue to provide public access and do our best to educate the public about how to safely recreate, while reminding them of regular safety precautions they need to take when visiting the wild and wonderful beaches on the Outer Cape,” Carlstrom said.

“I want to thank all the town managers on the Outer cape for their continued commitment to working together to help the public recreate responsibly.”

National Seashore officials said that Cape beach-goers face a number of risks, with storms and climate change steadily changing the shoreline to the increased shark presence just off the coast.

They stressed safety above all else, saying that the responsibility is on beach-goers to exercise caution and willingness to assume the level of risk associated with their activity on the shoreline, whether it’s wading, swimming or surfing. 

“Modifying human behavior is the most effective form of ocean safety,” said Seashore officials.

General safety tips from officials when it came to avoiding sharks included looking for signage or using apps, such as the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Sharktivity app, to know when sharks have been spotted in nearby waters.

Officials also said to avoid seals and schools of fish, as they attract sharks, and know the location of emergency call boxes and Stop the Bleed beachside safety kits.

When it comes to general beach safety, officials said to never turn your back on the ocean and never swim alone. 

They also encouraged visitors to the beach to only swim when lifeguards are on duty from mid-June through mid-September. 

Despite workforce shortages across the nation, Carlstrom said that the National Seashore’s beaches will be fully staffed with lifeguards this summer. 

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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