Over the past few days, several shark sightings in the area have put boaters and swimmers on high alert. On Wednesday, Westport public beaches were closed after a shark fin was spotted 100 yards offshore. Just a few days earlier, a Great White Shark was reported by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity app in Buzzards Bay.

It was the first sighting of this year, but is this a sign that there are more to come?

Let’s not forget 10 years ago when a great white shark washed ashore in Westport, making nightmares a reality for some of us.

In 2012, all eyes were on Westport after a fisherman named Gary Severa was looking to cast his line near Little Compton's Goosewing Beach and got a bigger catch than he bargained for.

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Severa discovered the dead, 13-foot, 1,700-pound shark washed up on the beach. He originally thought it was driftwood, but once he got closer, he was in for a surprise.

“It puts a little chill in you when you find out it’s got a whole row of teeth in it,” he said.

Marine Biologist Dr. Greg Skomal told The Boston Herald the shark's cause of death "will probably remain a mystery."

After all these years, that mystery was never solved.

Ten years later, Westport and other SouthCoast beaches continue to deal with the threat of shark-infested waters.

Luckily, sharks don’t actively seek out humans, but accidents happen, and that’s why I will be swimming a little closer to shore this year.

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world

LOOK: See America's 50 Best Beach Towns

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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