A shark attacked a surfer on a Cape Cod beach Saturday, the first fatal incident of its kind to occur in more than 80 years in Massachusetts.
Michael Hurley, Lieutenant of the Wellfleet police, reported that the victim of 26 years died from the injuries of the attack occurred around noon on Newcomb Hollow beach in the town of Wellfleet.
The surfer was pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, state police spokesman David Procopio said. The beach has been closed to bathers.
Procopio added that the family of the victim has been notified about the death, but did not reveal the identity of the deceased.
It is the first fatal attack of a shark in Massachusetts since 1936, and the second of this type of predator this season.
The former victim, a 61-year-old New Yorker, was critically wounded after escaping a shark attack on Aug. 15 on Truro beach, about six kilometers (four miles) north of where the Saturday attack occurred. This victim is recovering in a hospital in Boston.
"Today we will keep people out of the sea," Hurley said. "Then it will be decided what the people want to do with the beaches from now on."
Bathers pointed out that Wellfleet beach is very popular with surfers and on Saturday it was full of people for being a sunny day, although the summer season is over and there is no longer any lifeguard.
Joe Booth, a local fisherman and surfer, said he was out of the sea when he saw the victim and a friend surfing on their boards at the time of the attack.
Booth said he saw that the victim kicked hard against something behind him and fluttered in the sea. He explained that he knew what was happening when the victim's partner left the sea carrying his wounded friend.
"I was the guy who was screaming on the beach, 'Shark, shark!'" Booth said. "It was like coming out of the movie 'Shark.' This has quickly become Amity Island."