The Slatest

Man Dies in First Fatal Shark Attack in Massachusetts in More Than 80 Years

A girl cartwheels on Lighthouse Beach on Cape Cod on August 12, 2012 in Chatham, Massachusetts.
A girl cartwheels on Lighthouse Beach on Cape Cod on August 12, 2012 in Chatham, Massachusetts.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

A 26-year-old man from Revere, Massachusetts became the first fatal victim of a shark attack in the state in more than 80 years Saturday. He was bitten by a shark in the water off a beach in Cape Cod and later was pronounced dead in the hospital. The incident took place 300 yards south of Newcomb Hollow Beach, according to the Cape Cod Times. The last time there had been a fatal shark attack in Massachusetts was in 1936 and this was only the fourth incident of its kind recorded in the history of the state.

“I was that guy on the beach screaming, ’Shark, shark!” a local fisherman and surfer said. “It was like right out of that movie Jaws. This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here.” The victim, who has not been identified, was boogie boarding with a friend when the attack happened. They weren’t doing anything unusual. “We’ve been surfing all morning right here and they were just further down,” one witness said of the two boogie boarders. “Right spot, wrong time, I guess.”

Many at the beach tried to help and even performed CPR on the beach after the bite but witnesses said the man, who was reportedly bleeding heavily from his right leg, didn’t have a pulse. “I saw that he was bleeding and reached around the back of his leg, and there was nothing there,” a witness said. “And there were bone-deep lacerations down by his calf.”

The death Saturday “came after increasing numbers of shark sightings and warnings about the danger of the predators off Cape waters this summer,” notes the Boston Globe. Last month, a 61-year-old man from New York was severely injured by a great white shark that clamped down on his leg for about 20 seconds.