Shark Kills Man Off Beach in Wellfleet

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A shark attacked and killed a man believed to be in his 20s on Saturday off a beach in the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, the Associated Press reported, according to multiple news outlets.

The attack occurred near Newcomb Hollow Beach, which is on the Atlantic Ocean side of Wellfleet a little south of the Truro town line.

Details were sketchy Saturday afternoon, but the young man was reported to have been bitten around noon Saturday and to have died at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.

Earlier this summer, on Wednesday, August 15, a New York state man was bitten by a shark in the torso and leg off a beach in Truro on Cape Cod. He sustained serious injuries but is recovering. He has said he survived by punching the shark in the gills.

Saturday’s incident is believed to be the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts in 82 years.

On Saturday, July 25, 1936, a 16-year-old Dorchester boy, John Troy, swimming offshore in Mattapoisett was fatally bitten by a shark and later died.

Here’s how The Boston Globe described it in a story Tuesday, July 28, 1936:

“The youth, vacationing off Mattapoisett, was swimming 50 feet offshore Saturday, between West Island and Mattapoisett Neck, when he was bitten by a shark. He died from his injuries at St. Luke’s Hospital, New Bedford.”

When a 15-year-old Fairhaven boy reported two days later that a shark had attacked his dory and nearly overturned it, the Coast Guard went out on a shark hunt.

“Harpoons were held in readiness and the crews will man machine guns in the event that the fish is sighted,” the Globe reported in 1936.