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Wednesday
Aug152018

Swimmer bitten by shark off coast of Cape Cod, officials say

iStock/Thinkstock(CAPE COD, Mass.) -- A beach on the coast of Cape Cod has been closed after a swimmer was bitten by a shark, officials said.

The coastal town of Truro announced that Longnook Beach has been closed to swimming due to the shark attack on Wednesday afternoon.

The 61-year-old man appears to have been bitten in the leg on Wednesday afternoon and was taken to a local Boston hospital aboard a medical helicopter, ABC Boston affiliate WCVB-TV reported.

He told first responders that he was standing in the water about 30 yards offshore when he was bitten, according to WCVB-TV. He suffered puncture wounds to his torso as well, the station reported.

Witnesses nearby attempted to stop the bleeding, Kerstin Peter Leitner, a graduate from the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, told WCVB-TV.

"We grabbed all the towels that we could, put them on him to stop the bleeding," Leitner said.

No one in the area had cellphone service, so someone had to run to a nearby home to call 911, witness Molly Tobin, another nursing school graduate, told the station.

The man's condition is unclear.

Several shark sightings have been reported in the area in recent days, according to WCVB-TV.

An increase in the gray and harbor seal population in the Cape Cod region has attracted great white sharks to the area, according to the station.

The incident marked the first shark attack in Massachusetts since 2012, WCVB-TV reported. The 2012 attack also happened in Turo.

Further details were not immediately available.

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