Updated:BOURNE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) - Two teenagers both lost an arm when sharks attack twice in two hours at a North Carolina beach over the weekend, and closer to home, scientists expect to begin searching for great whites in the waters of Massachusetts.
FOX25's Ted Daniel hit the waters to find out from the state's leading shark expert what they expect to find this summer.
At 14 feet long, weighing 2,300 pounds, Katharine is a great white shark who is likely headed to New England
Her last known location was100 miles off the coast of the Carolinas. Last year, she was spotted on Chatham and moved up to Cape Cod Bay.
Katharine is one of a growing number of great whites known to frequent Cape Cod's eastern shore line.
Marine biologist Greg Skomal says researchers counted 80 white sharks in waters off Massachusetts last summer.
"Think of the great white sharks in our area like snowbirds," Skomal said. "When the water temperature drops they move to warmer climates, but they know they know there's good eating around here, so they often return when the water temperature warms."
White sharks eat grey seals, and on the Cape, the seal population is exploding: Estimated at more than 15,000 and growing every day.
"We've seen more and more whit sharks recruit to the area each year and I anticipate that's going to continue," Skomal said.
He won't know for sure until the end of the summer, but Skomal says it's likely the number of white sharks in our waters could increase by the dozens this summer.
It's not exactly comforting news for beach-goers, but the reality remains shark attacks in Massachusetts are extremely rare.
"We've had three attacks in Massachusetts that have been documented over the course of the last several hundred years so clearly the probability of an attack is remarkably low."
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