A 26-year-old man from Revere died Saturday after being bitten by a shark at a Wellfleet beach on Cape Cod.
WELLFLEET — A man who was bitten by a shark Saturday at a Wellfleet beach on Cape Cod has died, according to police.
Wellfleet police Lt. Michael Hurley confirmed at 2:25 p.m. that the shark attack victim died of injuries at Cape Cod Hospital.
The 26-year-old man is from Revere, according to Mass. State Police.
Leslie Reynolds, chief ranger at the Cape Cod National Seashore, confirmed the incident that happened about 300 yards south of Newcomb Hollow Beach. Wellfleet is a town of fewer than 3,000 people in Barnstable County about halfway between the "tip" and the "elbow" of Cape Cod.
Reynolds said Seashore rangers and Wellfleet police performed CPR on the victim on the beach after the bite. The person had not been pronounced dead at that time and was taken to the hospital, Reynolds said.
According to off-duty lifeguard Adriana Picariello, the man had injuries to his lower extremities and no pulse while he was being attended to on the beach.
Picariello and two other off-duty Wellfleet lifeguards were at Newcomb Hollow at the time of the attack and assisted with medical help.
A 61-year-old New York neurologist was bitten by a great white shark Aug. 15 at Long Nook Beach in Truro. The man survived the bite.
The most recent fatal shark attack in Massachusetts was at Hollywood Beach above Mattapoisett Harbor in Buzzards Bay in 1936. Nearly 40 years prior, in 1897, a man fishing south of Lynn was killed.
Witness Joe Booth described a harrowing scene at the Wellfleet beach when the incident occurred.
“I saw a worst nightmare unfold here,” Booth said. “Some gentleman got bit by a shark. We never wanted anything like this to happen, ever. Anywhere."
Booth said it was a quiet day at the beach and he saw some people boogie-boarding before he noticed some commotion in the water.
“Just a giant eruption of water. Fifteen feet wide. I saw a tail and a lot of thrashing,” Booth said. “You could tell by the body language of the guys in the water something wasn’t right.”
People were screaming to call 911 and alert authorities that there was a shark attack, he said.
He said the man was unconscious when he was pulled from the water and onto the beach. “He definitely looked like he was in a world of hurt.”
Statistics on fatal, unprovoked attacks in Massachusetts are rare because there simply isn't enough data, Gregory Skomal, a senior scientist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, told the Cape Cod Times in July.
Before the August bite in Truro, the most recent shark bite on the Cape occurred in 2017, according to the Global Shark Attack File, when a great white nibbled Cleveland Bigelow's boogie board in the waters off of Marconi Beach in Wellfleet. Bigelow escaped unscathed. In 2012, Christopher Myers suffered deep lacerations on both legs after an encounter with a great white while body surfing by Truro's Ballston Beach.
Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, said the Cape doesn’t have a lot of experience in how to manage shark attacks.
“This is rough,” she said about the two shark attacks in one season. ”This is not good.”