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Man dies after shark attack in Cape Cod

The victim died in hospital (Steve Heaslip/The Cape Cod Times/ AP) Photo: AP/Press Association Images

A 26-year-old has died in hospital after being bitten by a shark in water off Cape Cod.

The man, identified by Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Tara Miltimore as Arthur Medici of Revere, Massachusetts as attacked around noon on Saturday off Newcomb Hollow Beach, police said.

He is the state’s first shark attack fatality in more than 80 years.

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Joe Booth, a local fisherman and surfer, said he was on shore when he saw the man and his friend boogie boarding when the attack happened.

He said he saw the man aggressively kick something behind him and a flicker of a tail from the water.

He realised what was happening when the friend came ashore dragging his injured friend.

Joe Booth of Mattapoisett talks about witnessing the shark incident off Newcomb Hollow Beach Credit: Merrily Cassidy/The Cape Cod Times/AP

“I was that guy on the beach screaming, ‘Shark, shark!” Mr Booth said.

“It was like right out of that movie Jaws. This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here.”

He said others on the beach attempted to make a tourniquet while others frantically called the emergency services.

Hayley Williamson, a Cape Cod resident and former lifeguard who was on the beach at the time, was in disbelief after the man was rushed into an ambulance.

“We’ve been surfing all morning right here and they were just further down,” she said of the two boogie boarders. “Right spot, wrong time, I guess.”

Life-saving measures were attempted on the beach before the man was taken to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where he was pronounced dead, State Police spokesman David Procopio said.

Police and rescue vehicles at Newcomb Hollow Beach Credit: Steve Heaslip/The Cape Cod Times via AP

It 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 on August 15 after fighting off a shark off Truro, about four miles north of Saturday’s attack.

A Cape Cod politician said officials who did not take more aggressive action against sharks bore some responsibility for the fatal attack.

Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty said he had warned something like this could happen and urged measures to reduce the number of white sharks.

“It is my personal belief that the responsibility for this horrible shark attack rests squarely upon the shoulders of the aforementioned officials for their utter lack of attention and inaction regarding the growing shark problem on Cape Cod of the last few years,” he said.