Shark Attack in Cape Cod Is the First Since 2012

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
August 16USshare

A shark attack at a beach in Truro on Aug. 15 is the first attack in Cape Cod, Massachusetts since 2012.

A man was standing in the water about 30 yards offshore, about 300 yards south of Longnook Beach, when he was bitten, reported WCVB.

Officials said the location is within the boundary of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The 61-year-old victim suffered puncture wounds to his torso and legs.

Officials said they were working to analyze the wounds and see if they were consistent with the kind of bite a great white shark would inflict.

Beachgoers Rush to Help

Thomas Buckett, of Rhode Island, said he and a friend helped pull the victim, later identified as William Lytton, reported WHDH.

“He was on his back about 25 feet from shore. He was yelling, ‘Get me out of the water, get me out of the water … shark, shark,’” Buckett said.

“I pulled him out. I went in above my knees and my friend came in and dragged him the rest of the way.”

Kerstin Peter Leitner and Molly Tobin, graduates from the Boston College School of Nursing, told WCVB that they in the area when they saw the victim lying on the beach, bleeding profusely.

“We grabbed all the towels that we could, put them on him to stop the bleeding,” Kerstin Peter Leitner said.

One of them ran up to a house and called 911, and a medical helicopter rushed to the scene, picked up the victim, and transported him to Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Shark Sightings in Area

A number of sharks have been spotted in the area recently.

NBC reported that 10 shark sightings were reported in the past week.

In addition, an NBC crew in a helicopter reported that it spotted a great white shark shortly after the attack.

The last encounter with a shark in Cape Cod was last year, when a shark bit into a paddleboard at Marconi Beach. In 2014, a shark flipped over a kayak in Manoment Point.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy issued a press release stating that encounters with great white sharks are rare.

“While we still don’t know all of the details of this particular bite, sharks are not known to target people specifically and when they do bite people it’s usually a case of mistaken identity. Sharks ‘test the waters’ with their teeth, much like we use our hands. It’s how they determine if what they encounter is prey or something to avoid,” the group stated.

Attack in Truro

The last time a shark bit a person in Cape Cod was also in Truro, in 2012.

Chris Myers, who grew up on Joy Street in Beacon Hill but now lives in Colorado, was swimming with his teenage son off Ballston Beach when he was attacked.

“I was quite sure it was a shark,’’ he said a few days after the attack, reported the Boston Globe. “It felt like my leg was caught in a vise. I kicked very hard with my free leg…and he let go.’’

The 50-year-old was suffered puncture wounds on both legs and required 47 stitches.

After getting attacked, Myers and his son frantically swam to shore, where people helped call emergency responders and get Myers to a hospital.

The last reported fatality in Massachusetts from a great white shark attack occurred in 1936.