Shark attack kills a man boogie boarding off Cape Cod
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.