Safety is the key message at Cape Cod National Seashore


With Beach Race Underway, Cape Cod National Seashore Officials Focus On Safety / NPS

Sharks, return currents, big waves, and even sunburn are some of the risks you face when heading to Cape Cod National Seashore. With these and other risks in mind, National Coastal Staff are working with cities outside Cape Town to emphasize visitor safety this summer.

“As we did last summer and every summer, we will continue to provide public access and do our best to educate the public on how to safely recreate, while reminding them of the regular safety precautions that ‘it must take when visiting wild and beautiful beaches. on the Outer Cape, ”said Cape Cod National Superintendent Brian Carlstrom. “I would like to thank all of the City of Outer Cape Town managers for their continued commitment to working together to help the public recreate responsibly.”

Massachusetts’ unique coastline, Outer Cape Cod, is vibrant and changes from year to year. Tides, wind and waves all influence the transport of sediment which causes erosion and accretion of the coastline. Additionally, seals and sharks have become more prominent on the outer cape, presenting additional challenges for public safety on the beach. It is imperative to understand that with changes in the topography of the coastline and sharks and seals in the ocean, any level of activity, whether wading, swimming or surfing, will pose a degree of different risk. Anyone going into the ocean should exercise caution and be prepared to assume the level of risk associated with their behavior. Changing human behavior is the most effective form of ocean security.

The Regional Shark Working Group (RSWG), established in 2012, will continue to meet and share information to improve public education and shark safety awareness on Outer Cape and Lower Cape beaches. . Cape Cod National Seashore public safety officials and the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham will also continue to monitor beach activity and encourage safe behavior.

Standard safety precautions

Be Smart Shark. At present, there is no alternative or series of alternatives that can guarantee 100% the safety of people who choose to enter the water.

  • Look for products developed by the Regional Shark Working Group to increase public awareness and safety, including beach signage, brochures, purple shark flags, the Sharktivity app, and a “video” smart shark ”.

  • Stay away from seals and schools of fish as they attract sharks.

  • Use the Sharktivity app to track and report shark sightings

  • Know the location of the emergency call box and Stop the Bleed kits on your beach.

Basics of safety at sea

  • Never turn your back on the ocean.

  • Never swim alone. Swim, kayak, stand up paddleboard and surf in groups.

  • Avoid cloudy, low visibility water.

  • Lifeguards are on duty from mid-June to mid-September.

  • Stay close to the shore where lifeguards can reach you if necessary.

  • The average ocean water temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees throughout the summer.

  • Be aware of return currents, broken shorelines and heavy surf.

  • If taken in a return current:

    • Stay calm to conserve your energy and think clearly.

    • Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction parallel to the shore.

    • Once out of the current, swim back to shore.

    • If you cannot swim out of the current, float or float calmly in the water.

    • If you can’t reach shore, draw attention to yourself – wave your arms and cry for help.

    • If you see someone in difficulty, seek help from a lifeguard. If there is no lifeguard on duty, call 911.

Beach Safety Basics

  • Wear sun protection.

  • Glass containers are not permitted on national coastal beaches.

  • Rafts, rubber tubes, masks and snorkels are not allowed on supervised beaches.

  • The sand collapses easily. Undercut cliffs can collapse at any time without warning. Deep holes can lead to burial and suffocation. Don’t climb slopes and dunes, or dig holes deeper than the knee level of the smallest person in your party.


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