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Shark Sightings Force Changes To Popular Provincetown Swim

PROVINCETOWN (CBS) - During the past 31 years, the Provincetown Swim for Life has become a major summer event.

"It's ingrained in the community," says organizer Jay Critchley.

But there's a new player in the area, great white sharks, whose numbers are increasing steadily in the summer. And now, their presence has forced a change in the event, even though no white sharks have been spotted in Provincetown Harbor.

Provincetown Harbor
Provincetown Harbor (WBZ-TV)

"It's been writing on the wall," Critchley said. "It's a serious concern. It's not a major risk but the result would be a major catastrophe."

The swimmers have always gone 1.4 miles from Long Point, to the beach near the town center. But now, it will likely go along the town's beach, from the West End, to the center.

No one wants 400 swimmers in the water, and have a great white shark showing up.

Provincetown swim
Normal Provincetown Swim For Life route (WBZ-TV)

"We really have the visitors' safety in mind, you know when they get in the water at that start with all the splashing, it could become a hazard and we want to avoid that," said Brian Carlstrom of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The route is still being finalized.

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