SPECIAL REPORT: Fatal shark attack at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet

Photo by AAP/CWN

Photo by AAP/CWN

Arthur Medici

WELLFLEET – A shark attack was reported at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet off Gross Hill Road shortly after noon. Sources tell Cape Wide News a young male, later identified as Arthur Medici, 26, of Revere, was surfing on his boogie board south of the main beach when the attack occurred. Numerous bystanders assisted in initial treatment and in carrying the victim a significant distance down the beach to the parking lot. Medici reportedly suffered serious leg injuries and was unconscious. He was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital by ambulance where Wellfleet Police confirmed he was pronounced dead. Wellfleet Police and Fire as well as National Park Rangers were at the scene. Wellfleet Police also report they have closed all ocean beaches. Truro Police also report all ocean beaches in their town are closed also.

Video from Andrew Jacob:

Fatal Shark attack Newcomb Hollow Beach Wellfleet, MA 9/15/18 from Cape Wide News LLC on Vimeo.

This is the second shark attack on the outer Cape this year after a NY ma was bit August 15th at Long Nook Beach in Truro. Its the first fatal attack on Cape Cod since 1936.

Statement from Wellfleet Police: “On Saturday September 15, 2018 at approximately 1213 hours the Wellfleet Police Department received a 911 call reporting a possible shark attack at Newcomb Hollow Beach. The Wellfleet Police and Fire Departments, in conjunction with the National Park Service responded to the beach. Upon arrival, emergency personnel were directed to bystanders who pulled a male victim in his mid 20’s from the water and CPR was in progress. Emergency personnel continued CPR and extricated the male victim from the beach and transported him to Cape Cod Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The incident is currently under investigation by the Cape and Island District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police.”

We’ll bring you further details as we get them.

Audio: Joe Booth of Mattapoisett saw the victim being pulled from the water:

Joe Booth

Rich Lattauer was also on the beach at the time:

Another witness Dana Franchitto:

Bill Weber who was in the water at the time of the attack:

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) and 4th Barnstable State Representative Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown), who represent the Outer Cape in the Legislature, issued the following statement Saturday afternoon. “We are deeply saddened that a young man sustained life-threatening injuries and has died from an apparent shark bite today off Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet.

To the victim’s family, we offer our sincere condolences. A beautiful September day at the beach has been marred by tragedy. Our prayers are with you at this unimaginably difficult time.

We are immensely grateful to the Wellfleet Rescue Squad, Fire Dept, Police, the Town’s beach staff, and bystanders whose preparation and quick action provided help as soon as possible. Their vigilance, heroism, and response helps keep visitors and residents alike safe every day of the year.

In the coming days and weeks, we stand ready to assist Wellfleet, Truro, and all Cape Cod towns in responding to the risks posed by shark activity in the waters surrounding our communities. We encourage people to be vigilant and follow the guidance posted on the informational signs found at the beaches,” the statement read from the lawmakers.

In a statement Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross said they were extremely saddened by the news of the death of the swimmer and extended their sympathies and expressions of support to the family.

“While details are just now unfolding that can tell us more, we want to note that shark/human interactions are still extremely rare. The University of Florida data shows that in 2017, 88 people reported unprovoked contact with sharks, five of which were fatal, worldwide. Sharks have been in our oceans for over 400 million years.

However, for Cape Cod, we are experiencing an increasingly active shark population, which is a relatively new phenomenon for our region, requiring us to learn best practices to in order to keep humans educated and safe.

Local, national and international media coverage and extensive content in many information channels, including our own website continues to advise residents and guests to avoid swimming near seals, stay close to shore, avoid swimming where there are known to be sharks, and avoid dawn/dusk and night swimming, for example.

The Cape Cod Chamber will continue to work with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and the Cape Cod National Seashore and others in providing facts and tips to help swimmers stay safe,” the statement read.

Statement from Wellfleet Selectboard Chair and Town Manager: The Town of Wellfleet is heartbroken by this tragedy. We send our sympathies to his family and the friends of this young man. We share the grief and pain you feel. 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.

Selectboard Chair Janet Reinhart

Town Administrator Dan Hoort

Statement from Atlantic White Shark Conservacy: The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy offers our most sincere condolences to the family of the victim, and all who witnessed or are affected by today’s tragic incident.

Statement from Cape Cod National Seashore: This is a sad day for the family of Arthur Medici of Revere, MA, the national seashore, and the Cape Cod community. On Saturday, September 15, 2018 at approximately 12:30 pm at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, a suspected white shark attacked the 26-year old Medici. Mr. Medici died as a result of the injuries sustained in the attack. He was removed from the water and transported to Cape Cod Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent Brian Carlstrom said, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and our condolences go out to the Medici Family.”

The incident is still under investigation by National Park Service rangers, the Wellfleet Police Department, and the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s office. The public will be notified when the species of shark has been confirmed. Wellfleet beaches are currently closed to swimming.

People recreating in Cape Cod waters should read and heed advisories posted at beaches. Do not swim near seals; swim close to shore where feet can touch the bottom; swim, paddle, and kayak in groups; do not swim alone at dawn or dusk; avoid isolation; and limit splashing and do not wear shiny jewelry.

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