A flag warning Cape Cod visitors of sharks blowing in the wind on an entrance to Nauset Beach in Orleans, Mass., on Aug. 31, 2018.
(John Tlumacki/Boston Globe via Getty Images)
The inhabitants of a Cape Cod town have urged the local officials to ensure the safety of their beaches after a fatal shark attack claimed the life of a Massachusetts man earlier this month.
Hundreds of concerned locals turned out for a community forum at an elementary school in Wellfleet on Thursday to discuss the increase in shark sightings along the coast, and to learn from experts and officials on what can reasonably be done to prevent another attack.
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Suzanne Grout Thomas, Wellfleet Director of Community Services, began with an overview of the steps officials have taken to raise the awareness in the previous years, including more training and updated first aid procedures, CapeCod.com News reports. Thomas, however, said that there was no way to ensure shark-free waters.
Visitors of Newcomb Hollow Beach on Saturday standing near a sign urging the residents “Shark Smart” when entering the water.
“We can’t do something that will guarantee that you’re never going to run into a shark, that nobody will ever be attacked by a shark, or tasted by a shark,” she said, per CapeCod.com.
Residents later pushed for officials to reduce the seal population in order to scare off sharks, looking to them as a food source, either through a “birth control system” or by reducing the seals’ protection, The Boston Globe reports.
Others cited the less-than-ideal mobile phone service on the beach, that can slow efforts to reach for emergency resonders.
Residents such as Gail Lock of Brewster, also took the floor to advocate for drastic measures.
“They are the food of the fish, now they are eating our children,” said Lock, according to the whole World. “No sharks or seals are worth a young man’s life — they just don’t.”
Thursday’s meeting comes after the death of the 26-year-old Arthur Medici, of Revere, who succumbed to his injuries after being attacked by a shark off Newcomb Hollow Beach on Sept. 15. His death is believed to be Cape Cod’s first fatality attributed to a shark in 80 years.
In a press release issued shortly thereafter, Cape Cod National Seashore, confirmed that Wellfleet’s beaches – including the Newcomb Hollow Beach, where the Medici was attacked were closed to swimming,” but the surfers and paddleboarders have been spotted in the water the same day.
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Warning signs had also been placed on the beaches of Cape Cod, in the weeks before, around the time that a 61-year-old man was attacked on a beach in the Cape Cod town of Truro.
Thomas had also said in a statement to Fox News that the city would “have to rely on the common sense and the will to survive”, to prevent similar attacks.
Officials posted signs tell visitors of the beaches closed after Medici’s death.
(Merrily Cassidy/Cape Cod Times via AP)
Thursday’s forum was concluded with officials vowing to fund for the improvement of the safety and technologies that can help detect sharks, and even said that they would look into the possibility of the use of drones to monitor waters, according to a proposal from a local, CapeCod.com reported.
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The officials were also open to the possibility of another forum, the Globe.