State experts tag two great white sharks off Orleans

Probably not a good time to go in the water. People raced to see the harpoon boat zeroing in to tag the great white shark.
Probably not a good time to go in the water. People raced to see the harpoon boat zeroing in to tag the great white shark.Credit: Will Osier/Cape Cod Shark Hunters

They’re still out there. State experts tagged two sharks off the coast of Orleans Thursday after numerous reports of great whites hovering near the area’s ocean-facing beaches.

Division of Marine Fisheries shark expert Greg Skomal said a team set out on a fishing vessel and used their harpoon tagging technique to tag the sharks. He estimated that they were 14 feet and 16 feet long, respectively.

The pair was found within 100 yards of Orleans’s shores, he said.

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An aerial photograph taken by Will Osier of Cape Cod Shark Hunters, showed beachgoers racing to catch the spectacle as a boat zeroed in one of the sharks, with harpooner Bill Chaprales standing at the bow in the harpooner’s “pulpit.”

On Wednesday, several beaches from the Orleans/Chatham line to Monomoy Island were closed due to sharks sighted near swimmers.

The team has tagged 11 sharks so far this summer, Skomal said.

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