TRURO (CBS) – A swimmer was attacked and seriously injured by a shark at a Cape Cod beach Wednesday afternoon. The man was bitten by a shark at Longnook Beach at about 4:00 p.m.

The 61-year-old suffered puncture wounds to his hip and torso. He was taken to Wellfleet and then loaded onto a Medflight helicopter to be flown to Tufts Medical Center.

UPDATE: Cape Cod Beach Remains Closed After Shark Attack

The victim reported he was bitten while standing in water approximately 30 yards offshore.

It was two recent graduates of the Boston College nursing school who first rushed to the man’s aid, using towels to stop his bleeding. They told WBZ-TV’s Louisa Moller it was clear that he had been bitten by a shark.

“We’re walking, people start running in the other direction saying a man had been in a shark attack,” said Molly Tobin. “So having just graduated from Boston College nursing, we were like OK lets go see if there’s anything we can do to help.”

Shark attack victim carried up dune at Longnook Beach (Image credit @mesullybrklyn)

Several people helped carry the victim up a dune to the beach parking lot.

“It was awesome to see how many people were able to come together to help this man,” said Kerstin Peterleitner, also a recent nursing school graduate. “There were so many people helping carry him off on a blanket and then EMS met us halfway through, were able to strap him on a board and so many people helped carry him up that hill.”

Related: Truro Shark Attack Was First Bite Off Cape Cod Since 2012

Longnook Beach was closed after the attack, but several swimmers remained in the water.

WBZ-TV’s SkyEye spotted what appeared to be a great white shark in the water near the scene of the attack.

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a group that raises awareness of sharks, says these types of incidents are usually a case of mistaken identity.

“Encounters with white sharks in which people suffer injuries are as terrifying as they are rare,” the group said in a statement. “Sharks ‘test the waters’ with their teeth, much like we use our hands. It is how they determine if what they encounter is prey or something to avoid.”

The attack happened about three miles from where two great white sharks were spotted last week. The sightings prompted officials to close Head of the Meadow Beach temporarily.

In 2012, a swimmer was attacked by a great white shark off Ballston Beach in Truro.

Comments (44)
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  2. Mike Mangone says:

    Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen-footer. You know how you know that when you’re in the water, Chief? You tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know… was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Heh. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. Y’know, it’s… kinda like ol’ squares in a battle like, uh, you see in a calendar, like the Battle of Waterloo, and the idea was, shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he’d start poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’, and sometimes the shark’d go away… sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. Y’know the thing about a shark, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’… until he bites ya. And those black eyes roll over white, and then… oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin’, the ocean turns red, and spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and they… rip you to pieces. Y’know, by the end of that first dawn… lost a hundred men. I dunno how many sharks. Maybe a thousand. I dunno how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland- baseball player, boatswain’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up… bobbed up and down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well… he’d been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. Young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and come in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. Y’know, that was the time I was most frightened, waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water, three hundred sixteen men come out, and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.

    Anyway… we delivered the bomb.

    1. Lori Reese Dende says:

      Great history recap, thank you for sharing.

  3. Tony Monti says:

    that was no shark that was barney frank

  4. trish220 says:

    They need to stop acting as if the shark accidentally bites you. It doesn’t matter. If a 20 foot shark takes a bite out of you it is over….You are either seriously hurt or dead….Stop saying that, since it is a theory.

  5. 2hotel9 says:

    Know what would help this story? A map showing location of attack instead of a pic of people climbing a dune.

  6. Brad Thomas says:

    Sharks are there to eat seals. Seals don’t ‘stand’ in water. Mistaken identity my ass.

  7. Mark Smith says:

    The sharks are there to eat liberals.

  8. Bruce Harwell says:

    Sharks are curious about anything new in their environment, will eat anything, and will even nibble on a outboard motor just to see what it is. A shark will bite a man, realize it isn’t something he wants to eat, then move on to find something better. Of course, that doesn’t help the bite victim much, does it?

  9. Pat Patio Furniture Daly says:

    Cape Cod Shark 🦈 Apologizes For What He Did…
    “I’m sorry for what I did when I was hungry ‼️“ 😂

  10. Linda Anderson Bassett says:

    Don’t go in the water after 3:30 p.m.! Sharks chase their prey into shore at feeding time, every day in the late afternoon, so you don’t want to be mistaken for shark food!

  11. U.s. Sam says:

    There’s a HUGE difference between a Shark “Attacking” a human,,and a Shark checking out,by it’s natural process,which is to bite,”What is This ? Food ?”
    Obviously it IS still tragic & also terrifying… BUT if the Shark was indeed out to “ATTACK” this swimmer,it would NOT have been “one & done” .. and he most likely would sure as hell NOT have been able to just swim to shore..
    This guy was lucky in that he was NOT on that Shark’s “menu”,,at least not at that moment. O.K. Who wants to go to the Beach ?

  12. Steve Bosang says:

    what amazes me is that “officials” are SURPRISED at the incident…known GW sharks in vicinity~ seals ~ food sources , sightings..on and on.we can debate and wonder why the shark tasted and didnt dine but really!!!! anyone want those odds with a POINTER?stay out of these waters, humans–you are a appetizer!!! on the left coast another time bomb awaits.. the Kiddie Pool in La jolla…stupidity…

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