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Air patrols reportedly search for great white sharks off Cape Cod beaches

great whites off cape cod.jpg

AP

Air patrols are circling over Cape Cod Thursday to track at least nine great white sharks that are swarming around the popular Massachusetts beaches, the Boston Herald reported.

The search comes after a man was bitten by a shark, believed to have been a great white, while swimming off Ballston Beach in Truro on Monday.

Christopher Myers told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday that he and his son were in deeper water trying to get to a sandbar when he was bitten on the lower part of both legs.

His son, J.J., said he heard a scream and looked back to see the fin of what shark experts think was a great white.

Myers, feeling dizzy, said he and his son then "swam hard" back to shore.

Myers, in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston with bandages around both legs, said, considering the circumstances, he feels "quite terrific."

Great white shark sightings have increased off the coast of Massachusetts in the last several years, and state researchers have been monitoring and tagging the sharks since 2009. White sharks feed on seals and sea lions, and their migration to the state's coastal waters is linked to the growing number of gray seals that migrate here annually, state officials said.

Scientists predict that the attack on Myers likely won't be the last.

“Unless there is a huge modification in human behavior, you can expect more attacks over time," George Buress, a shark researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told the Boston Herald. "It’s something we can predict with some certainty unless people decide not to go in the water. We are not going to eliminate the situation."

Great white sharks grow to about 20 feet in length, can weigh up to 3 tons and live for more than 30 years.

The last confirmed fatality in Massachusetts by a great white shark occurred in 1936, state officials said.

Click for more from the Boston Herald

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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