A simple walk on the beach to catch whimsical pictures of sun on the sand dunes turned quickly into a wildlife photo shoot for Bruce Langsen.
The 67-year-old retired man was shooting at Coast Guard beach in Eastham at around 7:30 a.m. Sunday when he heard his son’s fiancee yell “Oh, my God!” three times.
Langsen turned toward the ocean and he saw violent splashing in the water. Quickly, he realized he was watching a shark attack a seal. Just as quickly, he turned his camera seaward and started snapping pictures.
“I’ve been going to the beach for 35 years and I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this before,” he said.
At first, he feared what the predator had in his jaws was a surfer, but he realized as he watched that the shark had targeted a seal.
The shark hit the seal three or so times as blood spread in the water. Langsen saw the dorsal fin and the shark’s tail in and out of the water, which was whipped white by activity.
“He was there, did what he wanted, ate what he wanted, and then he was gone,” said Langsen, who was standing toward the surf line, about 100 yards from the incident.
“I think it’s just a part of nature,” he said, of the shark attack, which lasted only a few minutes.
Langsen recently returned from a trip to Africa where he was exposed to many kinds of potentially dangerous creatures. He does not fear the beach after his rare sighting.
“I guess without the music from “Jaws” you don’t take it as bad,” he said, referring to the ominous soundtrack from the famous 1975 movie.
Langsen’s only regret is not having his telephoto lens handy to catch better photos of the gory scene.