A shark, most likely a great white shark, bit into a paddleboard, leaving distinct teeth marks and a shaken paddler off Marconi Beach in Cape Cod National Seashore, a national park located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
The beach was temporarily closed to swimmers Wednesday morning after the incident was confirmed by park officials.
The incident occurred during high tide and in calm conditions about 30 yards offshore in 3 feet of water. The paddleboader was approximately 50 to 75 yards south of the lifeguard-protected beach.
"The paddleboard was bit; he was not," Interim Park Superintendent Kathy Tevyaw told the Boston Herald, referring to the paddleboarder. "We got the call at about 10 o'clock this morning. We sent staff immediately.
"I think he was shaken up. I'm sure it was pretty overwhelming."
The park reported the presence of seals nearby. Seals are a popular prey for great white sharks, especially in the Cape Cod region. A shark attacked a seal close to shore at Nauset Beach on Monday, causing a panic among water-goers.
That attack prompted Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty to propose a shark hazard mitigation strategy, using drum lines to catch and kill sharks before a shark kills a human.
The paddleboarder was not identified and it wasn't clear whether he was standing or surfing on the board when the shark attacked the board. It was also unknown whether or not he was paddling alone.
“We try to get the safety message out to folks to be very aware,” Tevyaw told the Boston Herald. “Sharks have always been in this habitat. You should not swim alone, [you should] stay close to shore [and] don’t swim or recreate near the sharks … It’s a lot of personal responsibility and awareness.”
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