‘It came right up and opened its mouth right at my feet’: Shark breaches below researcher trying to tag it off Cape

“This is a good reminder of the importance of not becoming complacent and always staying vigilant when in or on the water.”

It’s not just Cape Cod beachgoers that have to be on the lookout for sharks.

The state’s leading shark expert, Greg Skomal, got taken by surprise on a recent research trip off the coast of Wellfleet when a shark leaped out of the water below him.

A camera on the shark research vessel captured the startling moment.

“Did you see that? Did you see that? It came right up and opened its mouth right at my feet,” Skomal, who is the senior fisheries scientist for the state Department of Fish and Game and leads the Massachusetts Shark Research program, exclaims.

Advertisement

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, which shared the video, wrote that researchers have received multiple reports of white sharks breaching this year from fishermen and boaters.

“While encounters like this one are rare, this video shows that they’re certainly possible,” the scientists wrote. “White sharks are wild and unpredictable animals. This is a good reminder of the importance of not becoming complacent and always staying vigilant when in or on the water.”

The conservancy also recently shared a photo of a white shark swimming near some surfers off Lecount Hollow Beach in Wellfleet on Thursday.

Researchers have tagged eight sharks off the Cape so far this season and have been urging beachgoers to be “shark smart” and use the conservancy’s free app that provides information on white shark sightings and movements.