Shark attack kills a man boo­gie board­ing off Cape Cod

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION - BY ALEX HOR­TON alex.hor­ton@wash­post.com

A man died Satur­day af­ter­noon from in­juries suf­fered dur­ing a shark attack off Cape Cod, au­thor­i­ties said, the first fa­tal shark attack in Mas­sachusetts in eight decades.

By­s­tanders pulled a man in his mid-20s onto New­comb Hol­low Beach and per­formed CPR, Wellfleet Po­lice Lt. Michael Hur­ley said in a state­ment. He was trans­ported to Cape Cod Hos­pi­tal, where he died, Hur­ley said. The man’s name was not im­me­di­ately re­leased.

The Na­tional Park Ser­vice, which is re­spon­si­ble for that part of the Cape Cod Na­tional Seashore, tweeted that the attack took place about 300 yards south of the beach. Cape Cod Na­tional Seashore said it closed ac­cess to the beach fac­ing the sea. Wit­nesses told the As­so­ci­ated Press the man was boo­gie board­ing with a friend.

The seal pop­u­la­tion in the area has grown, and with them come sharks in ag­gres­sive pur­suit, said Gavin Nay­lor, di­rec­tor of the Florida Pro­gram for Shark Re­search. There have been re­cent re­ports of 10- to 12-foot white sharks in the re­gion, he said.

Many at­tacks oc­cur when sharks mis­take hu­mans for prey in hit-and-run bites, he told The Wash­ing­ton Post on Satur­day. Re­searchers have sus­pected at­tacks may in­crease as sharks may have more chances to en­counter peo­ple.

The man’s death Satur­day comes ex­actly a month af­ter an Aug. 15 shark attack off Cape Cod. A shark’s jaws clamped down on one of Wil­liam Lyt­ton’s legs a few yards from the shore­line at a Truro beach, about 10 miles north of where Satur­day’s attack oc­curred.

Lyt­ton freed him­self by punch­ing the shark in the gills, he told the Bos­ton Globe. He en­dured a half dozen surg­eries and hopes to leave the hos­pi­tal by the end of Septem­ber, he told the pa­per.

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