Updated August 17
Two great white sharks and two hammerhead sharks were seen in Edgartown waters on Sunday, forcing South Beach to close for the day.
According to a 10:38 am Facebook post by the Trustees on Martha’s Vineyard, “two great whites and one hammerhead” were “sighted at Norton Point and South Beach” in the morning.
The Edgartown Parks Department initially closed South Beach, and announced on Facebook it was reopened at 11:30 am. Later in the day, at 3:12 pm, the department announced that “the water at South Beach will be closed for the remainder of the day due to multiple shark sightings.” The Trustees made another post at 3:44 pm, sharing there was a “hammerhead shark [sighting] at Norton Point Beach.”
On Monday, the Edgartown Parks Department announced in a post at 12:51 pm that South Beach would be closed to swimming for the next two hours because of a shark sighting. A drone photograph showed two sharks that seemed to be hammerheads. Martin Pradel, who took the photos of the sharks, said they were “50 meters from the shore.”
Another shark sighting took place Thursday morning, forcing South Beach to close until 11:30 am. There have already been multiple shark sightings near South Beach earlier this month.
“We’re having a lot of shark sightings,” Edgartown parks administrator Jessica McGroarty told The Times. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve never had this many water closures [relating to sharks].”
McGroarty said a network of people, such as lifeguards and the Trustees, “try to communicate with each other” about shark sightings. She said two-hour closures are the standard amount of time during shark sightings, although these can last longer if needed.
“I’m always going to stay on the side of caution,” McGroarty said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Updated with comments from Edgartown parks administrator Jessica McGroarty.