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Family: Five years after Arthur Medici's death from a shark bite, Cape Cod waters still a risk

Arthur Medici died from a shark bite in 2018 off Wellfleet.
Arthur Medici
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Arthur Medici died from a shark bite in 2018 off Wellfleet.

Friday marked five years since 26-year-old Arthur Medici died from a shark bite off Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet.

He lived in Revere, close to his aunt, Marisa Medici. She spoke with CAI this week to reflect on the anniversary.

Medici loved the water, and he learned to bodyboard as a child in Brazil, where they grew up.

No matter how many years have gone by since his death, the anniversary is hard, his aunt said.

“Things come to the memory,” she said — like the drive to Cape Cod that day, in heavy traffic, after she learned he had been bitten. “[It] was like an eternity.”

Onlookers tried to stop the bleeding, primarily from his right leg. He was transported to Cape Cod Hospital but did not survive.

His aunt said the booming seal population, which draws white sharks, has made conditions off Cape Cod unsafe for wave riders.

“In the summer, you cannot even go to the water,” she said. “It's insane, because you're not safe, you know?”

Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet in September 2023.
Liz Lerner
Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet in September 2023.

She said the tracking of tagged sharks is a good step, but more should be done to keep people safe in the ocean.

Medici’s 2018 death was the first shark fatality in Massachusetts since 1936. Earlier in 2018, a man was gravely injured off Truro but survived.

Medici’s death has led to more research and tagging of white sharks for acoustic detection.

His aunt said those efforts are worthwhile. And she said she feels frustrated, because it seems like millions of dollars go toward protecting animals in the ocean and not people.

“They don't think about man,” she said. “The seals in Cape Cod, they are out of control.”

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.