Fourth of July weekend is just about here and many Americans are keen on taking time off from work at the beach. But for those heading to the waters off Cape Cod, researchers are urging caution before hitting the water.

After all, it is that time of year when great white sharks are out and about, some close enough to the shore that it's too close for comfort.

According to great white shark researchers on Cape Cod, early July coincides with warmer waters that lead into the primary shark sighting season from August through October. With hundreds of families heading to the beach this weekend around Cape Cod, researchers are hoping to get out enough information on the potentially dangerous fish to help beach goers take more precautions.

"Just know that large sharks are here," Megan Winton, a research scientist with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, told CBS News.

Cape Cod is already a known haven for the Great White. According to the AWSC, it is the only known place in the Northwest Atlantic where they are known to aggregate, and the number of shark sightings has likely increased as their primary prey species, the gray seal, began to recover.

The presence of sharks has been felt recently too for beachgoers. On June 28, local officials closed off Meadow Beach in Truro, Massachusetts for an hour after a great white was spotted close to the shore. According to local reports, a total of 10 sharks were spotted off Cape Cod in the last week alone and nearly 20 have been seen since late May.

Greg Skomal, a state marine biologist in Massachusetts, advised beachgoers to be most vigilant when swimming off beaches where the shoreline quickly drops off into deeper waters to reduce the risks of bumping into a shark.

"Sharks will come close to the shore when they have water depth," Skomal said.

Shark attacks on humans are exceedingly rare and the last fatal attack on a human in Cape Cod was in 1936. However, the United States saw 47 shark attacks last year with the most occurring near Florida and California.

On June 23, a 60-year-old surfer in California was badly wounded in an attack by a shark. A week later, a teenage girl was bitten by a 9-foot-long shark off Keaton Beach in northwestern Florida while scalloping. Her injuries were serious enough that she had to be airlifted to a hospital in Tallahassee.

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