Cape Cod communities taking action to prevent deadly shark attacks

WELLFLEET, MASS. (WHDH) - Cape Cod community leaders are taking steps to prevent deadly shark attacks ahead of the summer swimming season.

The changes were implemented after last year’s great white shark attack in the waters off Wellfleet that left 26-year-old Arthur Medici dead. It was the first deadly shark attack off Cape Cod in more than 80 years.

In the hopes of getting emergency responders to the scene sooner, officials have installed emergency call boxes from Chatham to Provincetown in areas that are notorious for having spotty cell service.

But Wellfleet Town Administrator Dan Hoort cautioned, “There isn’t a solution, no one solution that we can implement that’s going to make everyone safe from sharks.”

Wellfleet is also purchasing an all-terrain vehicle so emergency responders can quickly reach someone who’s been bitten by a shark.

Many who live on the Cape are being taught how to control life-threatening bleeding until help arrives.

“The locals are taking the classes,” local surfer Montana Bailey said. “Everyone should be educated on tourniquets and how to be safe in the water.”

Other preventative measures aimed at preventing shark attacks before they happen won’t be decided upon until after Labor Day and won’t be implemented until 2020 at the earliest.

“I can’t put something in the water unless I know something about its effectiveness,” Hoort said.

Among the ideas being researched is a proposal to install giant nets to provide swimmers with a protected area in the ocean.

It’s a technique used in Australia — but there are concerns about the environmental impact and cost.

Surfer Ruby Warner said she’ll be more vigilant when out on the water this summer.

“I probably should be a little more worried, but I get so caught up in the moment that I don’t really worry but I definitely will be more cautious this summer,” she said.

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