Courtesy Cape Cod Times
In addition to the sun and surf, visitors to many Cape Cod beaches this summer will be greeted with signs about sharks.
A shark attack on a Colorado man in the waters off Ballston Beach in Truro last July, along with more shark sightings near the beaches prompted the measure.
Christopher Myers spent five days in the hospital after a great white shark bite him in the leg. It was the first recorded shark attack on a person in Cape waters since a 16 year old boy was attacked and killed in Buzzards Bay in 1936.
The Cape Cod National Seashore is launching a public information effort, featuring 2 ft. by 3 ft. signs to be posted at six beaches on the eastern facing Atlantic shore. Beaches that are town operated will receive smaller versions of the signs. The project cost is $4,000. 11 towns on the Cape are participating in the program.
Town officials and representatives from the National Seashore met in Orleans last week to unveil a prototype of the signs which include information about protecting the dunes, avoiding sunburn and navigating dangerous riptides, in addition to facts about sharks.
Sunbathers will also have access to brochures and lifeguards will be issued handbooks detailing the protocol for reporting a shark sighting.
Increased public awareness will produce a spike in reports, according to Suzanne Grout Thomas, a Wellfleet Beach Administrator. Officials are now formalizing a plan to deal with the expected increase in calls about sharks this summer.