Shark stalks man on kayak

Researchers say that the sharks are not the blood-thirsty beasts Hollywood makes them out to be

Swimmers in the US are heading back into the water after a number of shark sightings closed a popular beach at the weekend.

One photograph shows a shark's dorsal fin behind a man in a kayak while concerned people looked on.

Cape Cod beachgoers were warned last week to stay out of the water after great white sharks were spotted.

Lifeguards and swimmers spotted the shark (pictured) about 50 metres off Nauset Beach in Orleans.

Initial estimations had the shark at 3-4 metres long before it was last seen swimming away from shore.

So far nobody has been attacked but the same waters are filled with seals, which draw the sharks because they are a favourite food of the animal.

Authorities have issued an advisory telling people to stay away from any seals and to pay close attention to their surroundings and stay close to shore.

Chatham harbourmaster Stuart Smith said his office has been notified of seal carcasses apparently attacked by sharks found along the eastern shore.

"At this time, the town of Chatham is not closing our east-facing beaches to swimming in its entirety, but simply suggesting that beachgoers, mariners and swimmers pay close attention to their surroundings while in the water and to not venture too far from shore," Smith said in a statement to local media.

Researchers from Cape Cod Shark Hunters stressed that despite their huge size and razor-sharp teeth, the sharks are not the blood-thirsty beasts Hollywood makes them out to be.

"Contrary to popular belief and Hollywood folklore, the white shark is not a mindless juggernaut recklessly swimming around with its dorsal fin cutting through the surface," the group said on its website.

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