Wellfleet Holding Shark Forum After First Fatal Attack in Decades

Arthur Medici, 26, of Revere, was killed on Sept. 15 in the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936

What to Know

  • Arthur Medici died after being attacked by a shark while boogie boarding off Cape Cod on Saturday.
  • The shark attack happened around noon just off Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet.
  • The attack was the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936.

The Massachusetts town where a man was fatally attacked by a shark this month is holding a public meeting to consider how the community can respond.

Officials in Wellfleet on Cape Cod are hosting a forum Thursday evening at a local elementary school. The head of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and a seal researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are among those invited to speak.

The forum comes after 26-year-old Arthur Medici, of Revere, was bitten by a shark while boogie boarding off a Wellfleet beach Sept. 15. He was the state's first fatality from a shark attack in more than 80 years.

Medici moved to the U.S. from Brazil four years ago to pursue a degree in engineering, Brazilian news outlet OGlobo reported. He was a student at Bunker Hill Community College and worked as a pizza delivery driver for a local restaurant.

Witnesses at the scene told officers that Medici and another male were in the water about 30 yards off the beach boogie boarding when the attack occurred. They said Medici was wearing a wetsuit and flippers. A group of people, including first responders, carried him down the beach to the parking lot, giving him chest compressions on the way to the ambulance.

The attack was the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936, and the second shark attack this season.

A 61-year-old New York man was severely injured Aug. 15 after fighting off a shark off Truro, about 4 miles north of Wellfleet. He's currently recovering in a Boston hospital.

There were 53 unprovoked shark attacks in the U.S. in 2017, but none were fatal, according to the International Shark Attack File. On average, there are only six deaths around the world each year from unprovoked shark attacks.

There were frequent shark sightings this summer along the outer Cape, often leading to beach closings. The National Park Service, which manages many of the picturesque beaches where white sharks tend to congregate, said it closed beaches for at least an hour about 25 times this year, more than double the annual average.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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