A man on his boogie board has died of massive injuries after getting attacked by a shark in Cape Cod becoming the first person killed by a shark in the state of Massachusetts in 82 years.
The victim, identified as Arthur Medici, was with friends and was in the waters off Cape Cod when he was attacked and pulled under the water by a shark around noon on Saturday.
His friend Isaac Rocha told Today that the two of them had just snapped a selfie before Medici headed into the waves with his boogie board. Rocha was just a few years away.
Rocha heard screaming and saw blood in the water. He said he rushed to his friend’s aid after seeing the shark’s tail.
Witnesses said Medici suffered severe bites to his legs, according to Today.
Medici, 26, was about to propose to his girlfriend. The beaches in the town were closed after the fatal accident.
The incident occurred shortly after 12 p.m. ET, approximately 300 yards south of Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, making it the most recent fatal shark attack in the state since 1936. The U.S. last had a fatal shark attack in 2015..
Last month, there was another attack in the area. Dr. William Lytton, 61, from New York, was left injured on Aug. 15 after encountering a shark at Truro beach.
According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) at the Florida Museum, there were 53 reported incidents of alleged shark-human interactions in the U.S in 2017, which is a slight decline from the prior year’s number of 56 cases.
There were no fatalities either year.
Florida has the most reported number of unprovoked shark attacks with 31, with South Carolina coming in second with 10 cases.
America tops the list of countries with the highest rate of shark attacks, accounting for 60 percent of global incidents, according to ISAF’s Annual Worldwide Shark Attack Summary.
The organization believes that the reason for increase in shark attacks is correlated to an increase in the human population, as well as an increased interest in water sports.
In 2017, 59 percent of global attacks occurred while the victim was engaged in surfing or board-sports.
“Shark attacks don’t happen as often, there has only just been a recent rise in incidents,” Chris Hargrove, a special officer for Cape Cod National Seashore told NBC News. “There are more sharks because of the human population and because of the seal population, [which are] the main food source for great white sharks.”
h/t: Facebook Wellfleet Police,