Shark attacks and kills a man who was boogie-boarding at a Cape Cod beach.
A man boogie boarding off a Cape Cod beach was attacked by a shark on Saturday and died later at a hospital, becoming the state’s first shark attack fatality in more than 80 years.
Arthur Medici, 26, of Revere, succumbed to his injuries following the attack in the waters off Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet just after noon, Wellfleet Police Lt. Michael Hurley said.
Police say Medici was attacked while at the beach with his family. Witnesses at the scene told officers that Medici and another male were in the water about 30 yards off the beach boogie boarding when the attack occured. They say Medici was wearing a wetsuit and flippers.
Joe Booth, a local fisherman and surfer, said he was on shore when he saw Medici and his friend boogie boarding when the attack happened.
He said he saw Medici 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.
“All of a sudden somebody yelled ‘shark, shark!’ and we noticed a big crowd at the end of the beach,” Tony Sherwell said.
Booth said, “I was that guy on the beach screaming, ‘Shark! Shark!’ It was like right out of that movie ‘Jaws.’ This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here.”
Julian Swistak said people started running down the beach, wrapping Medici’s legs in their towels.
“There was a lot of blood,” Rich Littauer said. “A lot of blood.”
Booth said others on the beach attempted to make a tourniquet using a boogie board cord while others frantically called 911.
CPR was in progress on the beach when emergency personnel responded, at which time they took over.
A group of people, including first responders, carried Medici down the beach to the parking lot, giving him chest compressions on the way to the ambulance.
Hayley Williamson, a Cape Cod resident and former lifeguard who was on the beach at the time, was in disbelief after Medici was rushed in an ambulance.
“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.”
Life-saving measures were attempted on the beach before Medici was taken to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where he was pronounced dead, State Police spokesman David Procopio said. The beach has been closed to swimming.
The town of Wellfleet issued a statement Saturday night, saying they are “heartbroken by this tragedy,” and they send their sympathies to Medici’s family and friends.
“We share the grief and pain you feel,” Select Board Chair Janet Reinhart and Town Administrator Dan Hoort said in the statement. “We are grateful to the family, friends, beach staff, public and first responders who worked so valiantly to save his life. Everyone who lives in and visits Wellfleet is part of the Wellfleet community. Today we lost a member of our community and we grieve his passing.”
The attack is the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936, and the second shark attack this season.
A 61-year-old New York man was severely injured Aug. 15 after fighting off a shark off Truro, about 4 miles north of Saturday’s attack. He’s currently recovering in a Boston hospital.