Shark Sightings Spook Massachusetts Triathletes

  • By
  • Published Jul 28, 2011

There have been 23 confirmed shark sightings in Massachusetts since May.

Hard-charging ironmen training for the one-mile swimming leg of the first-ever Vineyard Warrior triathlon are being warned not to wear shiny jewelry and to steer clear of seals as sightings of great white sharks have islanders watching the waves.

Though the last fatal great white attack in Massachusetts occurred 75 years ago this week in Mattapoisett, there have been 23 confirmed sightings of the maneaters since May, according to the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Experts say the predators have been drawn to the all-they-can-eat gray seal buffets offered up by Martha’s Vineyard and Monomoy Island off Chatham.

“I wasn’t thinking about this, but now I’m scared to death. I ran into some seaweed and I screamed,” said Liza H. Williamson, criminal clerk of Edgartown District Court, who has been training regularly after work with friends for the Sept. 11 endurance test. “My thought now is to not look like a seal when I put on my wetsuit.”

Race organizer Matthew Brackman said more than 300 people from as far away as Italy have already registered for the Vineyard Warrior, and he hopes to attract 300 more — with or without the state’s current preoccupation with great whites.

Read more: Boston Herald


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