Are you looking to visit a beach in Massachusetts, wondering which beaches to go to, or in this case, NOT to visit? You might have little children or have seen headlines that some beaches in Massachusetts are not safe. Which beaches are dangerous, and should you avoid them?
The most dangerous beaches in Massachusetts include:
- Wollaston Beach
- Pico beach
- King’s Beach
- Sandy Beach
- Malibu Beach
- Keyes Beach
- Town Landing by Coast Guard
- Tenean Beach
- Chatham Beaches
- Long Nook Beach
- Newcomb Hollow Beach
- Salisbury Beach
When thinking of dangerous beaches, the first thing most people think about is sharks or hazardous waves. You would be surprised why some of these beaches have the label: danger. Let’s have a look at the reasons these beaches are dangerous.
Beaches In Massachusetts Contaminated
Most beaches are dangerous for visitors to swim in because of unclean water. These waters are contaminated and cause gastrointestinal illness and skin rashes due to filth.
When testing the beaches of Massachusetts in 2021, scientists found that about 260 beaches tested positive for bacterial contamination. They tested the water for fecal bacteria, and the results were shocking.
These tests are essential to let swimmers know because they can cause gastrointestinal diseases, eye-and ear infections, respiratory diseases, and skin rashes if the levels are high.
The beach with the highest score for contamination was Kings Beach, with a 75% contamination. Sandy Beach was under the top 10, along with four Wollaston beaches, Malibu Beach, Keyes Beach, Tenean Beach, and Town Landing.
The problem with the testing is that the water gets tested for consecutive days and then labeled as unsafe or safe for swimming. This kind of test is very simplistic, but comparing the scores of each beach over 3 or 4 years makes sense.
Pico beach and Donovan’s Beach were closed down because of fecal bacteria contamination in 2021. Weekly, the water gets tested, and when the levels reach a certain point, the town closes the beach. Beach closure happens especially in extreme heat or extreme rainfall.
The heat is the perfect circumstance for bacteria to breed in and multiply, where the rainfall causes runoff from the streets and sewerage pipes that is mainly the cause of the contaminated water. The coast guard warns swimmers to check the news or ask locals if it is safe to swim or not, but some would say not to take a chance.
Wollaston beaches are shown to be safe for swimming in dry months but should be avoided during wet months thanks to runoffs from the streets into the ocean.
Beaches Of Massachusetts With Unsafe Riptides
These beaches are the ones you should look out for when swimming, surfing, or wakeboarding to make sure the strong currents don’t pull you in.
Riptides are strong currents that pull from the beach into the deep sea. The problem for swimmers is that the waves pull them too far from the shore, and they struggle to get back because of the currents that are too strong, panic and anxiety, or lack of swimming skills.
Deaths found on the shore of Massachusetts are about 100 per year, which is the number one reason for drownings. Studies found that 80% of lifeguard rescues are from riptides.
One of the beaches with powerful currents is Salisbury Beach. Because of these dangerous riptides, lifeguards are stationed every day of the week from 10 am until 6 pm. This incentive was made after two separate incidents when lifeguards were not on duty.
Police also patrol the beach each day and ask swimmers to follow the rules according to swim areas and areas to avoid. Swimmers should try to swim in groups and not leave kids to swim independently.
Other beaches with riptides that pose a threat are Hampton Beach and Monument Beach. Another problem Massachusetts faces is the lack of lifeguards available with the needed training. Because of record drownings recorded in 2021, they are raising the salary for lifeguards with training to attract lifeguards hopefully.
The United States Lifesaving Association is trying to make the public aware of riptides and how they can lead to deaths and drowning. They feel that raising awareness might decrease the number of rescues while research is trying to find ways to predict the strength of the currents and their location better.
Beaches In Massachusetts With Dangerous Sea Life
The most common reason you might want to avoid swimming at any beach is the possibility that a fin will approach you while enjoying the waves.
The tragedy of shark attacks is quite surreal in Massachusetts. The beaches along the Cape Cod shoreline are one of them and happen because of an increase in the population of Great White Sharks in the area.
Long Nook Beach and Newcomb Hollow Beach have had shark attacks. One was a close encounter where a swimmer barely escaped. The other incident was a bodyboarder whose fate turned worse when he didn’t recover from injuries.
Great Whites do not prey on humans but rather on seals. Because the seals have increased after the Marine Mammal Protection Act put the law in place that no more seal hunting is permitted, the population of seals increased and led to the Great White Shark population increase.
Great Whites targeting humans is usually a misjudgment, and they won’t attack and eat humans but bite and release. Unfortunately, a bite from a shark is deadly.
The coast guard closes beaches for an hour if they spot sharks in the area and take as many precautions to prevent attacks. Suppose you decide to swim at these beaches, and if you go deeper than waist level, you might encounter a shark.
Another quite risky beach, hence the shark population, is Chatham Beach. Here Great Sharks have been spotted quite regularly, and more recently, Hammerhead Sharks.
The sight of Hammerheads was interesting, as they cannot regulate their body temperature and are thus never spotted near the shore where the water is too cold. The water temperature has increased in the past few years, and a boatman saw one with the water measuring 72 degrees.
People do not see Darcy’s Beach in Hull as unsafe as the discussed topics. The water cleanliness score of this beach is 95% which is excellent, but because of the ferry terminal located here and the boat traffic, the public should avoid swimming here.
When you want to go as a family or swim in peace, you might find Coast Guard Beach or Good Harbour beach clean and swimming friendly. Whether you are looking for a safe place to swim or want to know which areas to avoid, follow the rules of the beach and rather avoid those posing danger. You do not wish to have a rash, infection, or meet head-on-head with a shark.