26-year-old Killed in Massachusetts' First Fatal Shark Attack in More Than 80 Years

Arthur Medici, a 26-year-old man from Revere, Massachusetts, died over the weekend after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Cape Cod.

Medici was swimming alongside a friend at Newcomb Hollow Beach when the attack occurred. Joe Booth, a local fisherman and surfer, told CBS that he witnessed the attack from the shore. Booth said it looked like Medici was kicking something behind him off of his boogie board, but he did not fully understand what was happening until Medici’s friend dragged him to the shore.

“I was that guy on the beach screaming, ‘Shark, shark!'” Booth told CBS. “It was like right out of that movie ‘Jaws.’ This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here.”

Officials are now investigating the attack and believe Medici may have been killed by a great white shark, according to The New York Times. Medici’s death marks the first shark-related fatality in Massachusetts since 1936.

According to officials who spoke to The New York Times, shark attacks and fatalities remain incredibly rare around the globe.

“Pretty much every shark bite is an accident,” Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told The Times. “It’s mistaken identity.” Typically, he explained, sharks mistake humans for their usual prey, which includes seals and fish.

As the International Shark Attack File noted, there were a total of 88 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide last year, which included five fatalities. Most attacks in the United States happened in Florida.

As to why Massachusetts may be seeing an uptick in both sharks and shark attacks, The New York Times reported it may be because of the growing seal population off the Cape. That, in turn, brings more sharks to the region.

“If you ask us if we’re surprised that this happened, well, we hope it doesn’t, but honestly, the probabilities go up when there are more sharks in the water,” Naylor said. 

“Our lives are never going to be the same without him,” a GoFundMe page set up by his family and friends reads.“His laughter filled our home and he will be greatly missed by us all.”

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