South Beach in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard was closed to swimming twice on Wednesday after beachgoers reported seeing a ten foot hammerhead shark swimming just five feet off of the beach.
According to the Boston Globe, beachgoers reported the sighting to lifeguards, who called for a spotter pilot after seeing the animal themselves. The pilot confirmed the reports of a shark, and the water was off limits for about an hour and a half.
Officials at the New England Aquarium said the shark is most likely a smooth hammerhead shark although John Chisholn, a state marine fisheries biologist, told the Associated Press he believes it is likely a different type of shark because it would be out of the ordinary for hammerheads to swim so close to shore.
The sightings come days before President Obama and his family are planning to vacation on the Vineyard for over two weeks.