Suspected Shark Attack in Cape Cod Leaves Man Hospitalized

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A great white shark photographed in Mexico.

After a number of recent shark sightings in the area, a Cape Cod swimmer may been bitten. The suspected attack happened Monday at 3:30 p.m. when Chris Myers was body-surfing with his teenage son at Ballston Beach on Cape Cod, Mass. He was pulled into the water and suffered serious cuts to both legs, which authorities believe were caused by a shark. “It looked like a shark bite to me,” Truro, Mass. Fire Chief Brian Davis told CNN. He’s undergoing surgery but is expected to survive the attack.

Witnesses on the beach told ABC they saw a shark fin appear before the attack but were unable to help before Myers was pulled under. After Myers returned to the surface, beachgoers heard his screams for help and some said they saw a shark fin emerge from the water.

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People on the beach who witnessed the event rushed into the water to pull Myers out. He was conscious but bleeding profusely as he was put into an ambulance. “It was pretty deep,” police officer Scott Holway said of the wounds which covered Myers on both legs, below the knees. “You could see muscle and bone. It was like his flesh had been ripped,” Holway told ABC.

After news spread of the attack, many left the beach feeling “dazed,” the Cape Cod Times reported. “We were just sitting there enjoying watching the ocean,” one witness said, then she saw a gray fin come out of the water. “I can tell you it looked just like the movies,” another bystander, Walter Palmer said. “We were in shock in what we saw. We couldn’t believe what we were watching.” Davis said that Myers was swimming just 75 feet off-shore at the time of the attack, less than half the length of an Olympic swimming pool. The close distance leaves questions in authorities’ minds if it really was a shark attack. “I’ve never seen that, not that close to shore,” Davis said CNN.

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There hasn’t been a fatal shark attack in the area since 1936, but many sharks have been seen in the area recently. Experts attribute the uptick in sharks around Cape Cod to an influx of seals in the area. A seal was reported near Myers as he swam.

Beach officials did not shut the area down, but signs have been posted now that warn “Caution: Recent shark sightings.” Perhaps that’s just the slightest of understatements.

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