ORLEANS, Mass. (WHDH) — An increase in shark sightings and their proximity to shore has caused some Cape Cod beaches to close down.

There were seven reports of shark sightings around Chatham and Orleans on Thursday and the great whites got too close for comfort; only 15 to 20 feet away from the shore.

Swimmers have had to stay on the sand until the town decides if the coast is clear.

“It’s a day to day thing. It’s really a whole new territory for us as to what the precautions and what the policies will be for next year,” said Orleans beach director, Lee Miller.

Signs and red flags are out to warn people of the danger in the water, but many vacationers are just happy to soak up the last of the summer sun.

“Usually it’s nice taking the water in, just the atmosphere,” said beachgoer, Walt McPherson.

There’s no ban on getting close to the water or taking a walk along the shoreline. Regulars at Nauset Beach said the traffic is heavy this summer and the shark sightings might draw an even bigger crowd this holiday weekend.

“I think it’s probably drawing a lot of people to the beaches as a curiosity factor. It’s still beautiful here.”

Some Chatham beaches are closed for the season, but swimming at Orleans will be decided on a day-to-day basis.

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