Massachusetts saw its first shark attack fatality in more than 80 years on Saturday when a male swimmer died in Cape Cod.
In a Facebook post shared Saturday afternoon, the Wellfleet Police Department announced that a male swimmer in his mid-20s “was bitten by what is believed to be a shark” around 12 p.m. at Newcomb Hollow Beach.
“I was that guy on the beach screaming, ‘Shark, shark!’ It was like right out of that movie Jaws,” Joe Booth, a local fisherman who was on the shore when the attack happened, told the Associated Press. “This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here.”
The victim — whose identity is being withheld until his next of kin has been notified — “was pulled from the water” and “provided emergency first aid,” including CPR, authorities said.
He “was transported to Cape Cod Hospital by the Wellfleet Fire Department” and later died at the hospital from injuries, Wellfleet police said.
Sources on the scene told CapeCod.com that the victim was surfing on his boogie board at the time of the attack. Unconscious with serious leg injuries, he was pulled from the water by his friend, the outlet reported.
According to the AP, the beach has since been closed.
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Though the summer season is over, and lifeguards were not on duty, “sunny skies and warm temperatures” on Saturday attracted beachgoers, the AP reported.
“We’ve been surfing all morning right here,” Hayley Williamson, a Cape Cod resident and former lifeguard who was on the beach at the time, told the AP. “They were just further down. Right spot, wrong time, I guess.”
“Wellfleet PD is working with the National Park Service and the MA State Police on this investigation,” authorities said in the Facebook post. “Further information will be released by the District Attorney’s Office.”
Saturday’s attack comes less than a month after a New York man, 61, fought off a shark in Truro on Aug. 15, the AP reported. He was severely injured and is currently recovering in a Boston hospital.
The last fatal shark attack in Massachusetts was 16-year-old Joseph Troy Jr., who was bitten in waters off Mattapoisett on July 25, 1936, the AP reported.