Police said a 26-year-old man died after being attacked by a shark off Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
Lt Michael Hurley of Wellfleet police said the man succumbed to his injuries following the attack off Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet at around noon on Saturday.
“Life saving measures were attempted on beach,” state police spokesman David Procopio said in an email.
The man was pronounced dead at Cape Cod hospital in Hyannis. The family of the victim, who was from Revere, Massachusetts, was notified but police were not yet releasing his name, Procopio said.
Hurley said state police and the Cape Cod district attorney’s office were handling the investigation and added: “Today is just keeping everyone out of water. There’ll be a determination later about what the town wants to do with the beaches going forward.”
It was the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936. The type of shark involved was not immediately known. Great white sharks, apex predators, inhabit the waters off the Cape.
On 15 August, the state saw its first attack since 2012 when a New York man was severely injured off Truro, also on Cape Cod.
On Saturday, with sunny skies and warm temperatures, Newcomb Hollow Beach was busy, even though summer season was over and lifeguards were not on watch.
Joe Booth, a local fisherman and surfer, said he saw the man and his friend boogie boarding when the attack happened. He said he saw the man aggressively kick something behind him and a flicker of a tail from the water. He realized what was happening when the friend came ashore dragging his injured friend.
“I was that guy on the beach screaming, ‘Shark, shark!” Booth said. “It was like right out of that movie Jaws. This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here.”
Booth said others on the beach attempted to make a tourniquet while others called 911. Hayley Williamson, a Cape Cod resident and former lifeguard who was on the beach at the time, was left in disbelief.
“We’ve been surfing all morning right here and they were just further down,” she said of the two boogie boarders. “Right spot, wrong time, I guess.”
The victim of the August attack, William Lytton, a 61-year-old neurologist, told the Boston Globe this week he hoped to be released at the end of the month from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. Lytton suffered deep lacerations on his leg and torso but was able to break free by punching the shark in the gills.
On Saturday a Cape Cod politician told the Associated Press officials who did not take more aggressive action against sharks bore some responsibility for the fatal attack.
Barnstable county commissioner Ron Beaty said he had warned something like this could happen.
“It is my personal belief that the responsibility for this horrible shark attack rests squarely upon the shoulders of the aforementioned officials for their utter lack of attention and inaction regarding the growing shark problem on Cape Cod of the last few years,” he said.