Arthur Medici, an engineering student at Bunker Hill Community College who lived in Revere, was boogie boarding with friends at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet on Saturday. He was about 30 yards offshore when he was bitten by a shark.
Following the shark attack, Medici was rushed by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital where he died from his injuries.
“This is a sad day for the family of Arthur Medici of Revere, MA, the national seashore, and the Cape Cod community,” officials from the Cape Cod National Seashore, a member of the National Park Service, said in a statement on Sunday. The incident is still under investigation, according to the service, and officials say they will notify the public when the species of shark involved in the attack has been confirmed.
Remembering Arthur Medici: “He was always joyful and willing to help others”
The Facebook page for Arthur Medici has been turned into a memorialized account, garnering hundreds of comments of condolences from people across the country.
Medici’s death made national news as his was the first death from a shark attack in Massachusetts more than 80 years. The last fatal shark attack in Massachusetts was in 1936 when a teenage boy was bitten and killed by a shark in Buzzards Bay.
Hundreds of people have also donated to a GoFundMe account labeled for “Arthur Medici’s Funeral.” Created on Sunday, the GoFundMe has raised more than $27,000 as of Monday afternoon — surpassing its original goal of $25,000.
“There was never a bad time for him,” the GoFundMe page reads about Medici. “He was always joyful and willing to help others, even going as far as feeding the homeless. He was happily engaged to a smart, kind-hearted medical student with a bright future. Our lives are never going to be the same without him. His laughter filled our home and he will be greatly missed by us all.”
The GoFundMe will help with the costs of transporting Arthur Medici’s body from Cape Cod to Boston for a funeral service, and then from Boston to Vitoria in Espirito Santo, Brazil (where Medici is originally from, and where his parents still live, per reports) for another service and burial.
Shark attacks on the rise?
Though Arthur Medici is the first person to die of a shark attack in Massachusetts in 82 years, his incident was not the first shark attack of the summer. A 61-year-old man was bitten by a shark in August near Long Nook Beach in Truro. Shark attacks have been reported elsewhere in the country as well, like in July when two shark attacks briefly closed Fire Island beaches in New York City.
In 2017, the worldwide total of unprovoked shark attacks was “slightly higher than average,” according to the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The program confirmed 88 cases of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide in 2017, a slight uptick from the five year average of 83 annual incidents. Out of the 88 total attacks, there were five fatalities.
The number of shark attacks may continue to increase, experts warn, as more people come into contact with marine life.
“The number of human-shark interactions is directly correlated with time spent by humans in the sea,” according to the program. “As the world population and interest in aquatic recreation continues to rise, we expect the incidence of shark attacks to increase, as well.”