Shark buoys deployed to keep swimmers safe

MARSHFIELD, Mass. — Shark sightings are picking up again as the heat pushes more people to the beach.

Marshfield Harbormaster Mike DiMeo let Boston 25 News tag along as they deploy the town’s shark buoys.

They are one of many South Shore towns now tracking sharks near their beaches.

The towns work with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy to determine where great white sharks are coming and going.

“The most cause for alarm is the same sharks continue to come back to south shore waters. Marshfield, Duxbury, Scituate and Plymouth. The same sharks are migrating back each year,” DiMeo said.

The buoys float on the water and have a sensor at the bottom that can detect the 330 sharks the Conservancy tagged with a transmitter.

The shark buoys were placed in specific locations because of their proximity to the busy beaches.

Each one has a radius of 25 yards.

“We drop it approximately 250 yards off the beach so if a shark was in 2 feet of water - 3 feet of water close to the beach the buoy will pick it up,” DiMeo said.

Marshfield is working to secure the estimated $2,500 for each real time shark tracking buoy.

Some Cape Cod towns already have real time shark detectors so the lifeguards can clear a beach until the shark moves away. Marshfield would like at least two real time monitors.

“It would be good to have the real time buoy so we could have the data immediately,” DiMeo said.

Back on land, DiMeo shows Boston 25 News one main food sources for sharks -- seals. Something they have been seeing more of in these waters.

Boston 25 News spoke with Allie Coppenrath, who was at the beach with her 4-year-old son.

“Having a kid makes it very different. A little more cognizant of what is going,” she said.

This mother said their policy is to keep their distance from seals knowing sharks could be close by.

“There as a baby seal on the beach and not 10 minutes later there was one swimming near us so we took a break out of the water,” Coppenrath said.

The Harbormaster also pointed out that the beaches are expected to be busier than usual this year with so many people staying closer to home and nearby states traveling here.

Because of that - the Harbormaster says any tool to help monitor sharks will be invaluable.