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Cape Cod shark attack victim told aunt he wouldn't get bitten

"Always I asked him, 'Don’t go. Please, don’t go,’" Marisa Medici said she told her nephew Arthur Medici, 26, who died in the shark attack.

The aunt of the man who was fatally bitten in a shark attack off the coast of a Cape Cod beach told his aunt that the sharks wouldn't bite him and called himself Superman, according to the Boston Herald.

Marisa Medici told the paper she often pleaded with Arthur Medici, 26, to stay out of the water, where sightings of sharks have spiked in recent years.

“Always I asked him, ‘Don’t go. Please, don’t go.’ He’d say, ‘Aunt, they’re not going to bite me. The sharks don’t bite me. I’m Superman!’" she said. "... And when it happened, I couldn’t believe it was him, that it happened to us. There’s no words. No words.”

Arthur Medici, of Revere, was attacked around noon Saturday off Newcomb Hollow Beach, police said.

Joe Booth, a local fisherman and surfer, said he was on shore when he saw the man and his friend boogie boarding when the attack happened.

He said he saw the man aggressively kick something behind him and a flicker of a tail from the water. He realized what was happening when the friend came ashore dragging his injured friend.

"I was that guy on the beach screaming, 'Shark, shark!" Booth said. "It was like right out of that movie 'Jaws.' This has turned into Amity Island real quick out here."

Marisa Medici said her nephew was with his future brother-in-law Isaac Rocha, who "was a few meters away from him and saw when he was being pulled down," she said.

"He saw something was wrong. And when he came up out of the water, he went to him to rescue him and take him to the sand. But because the shark bit on the back of his legs, the calves, he lost a lot of blood. A lot of blood. Basically everything," Marisa Medici said.

Rocha said he could see the shark's tail during the attack before he was able to bring Arthur Medici to land.

"I already heard him screaming and I saw a lot of blood in the water ... I got him onto shore and he wasn’t moving anymore," Rocha said.

Booth said others on the beach attempted to make a tourniquet while others frantically called 911.

Hayley Williamson, a Cape Cod resident and former lifeguard who was on the beach at the time, was in disbelief after the man was rushed into an ambulance.

"We've been surfing all morning right here and they were just further down," she said of the two boogie boarders. "Right spot, wrong time, I guess."

Life-saving measures were attempted on the beach before the man was taken to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, where he was pronounced dead, State Police spokesman David Procopio said. The beach on the side of the cape facing the Atlantic Ocean has been closed to swimming.

It was the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936, and the second shark attack this season.

A 61-year-old New York man was severely injured Aug. 15 after fighting off a shark off Truro, about 4 miles north of Saturday's attack. He's currently recovering in a Boston hospital.

"Today is just keeping everyone out of water," Wellfleet Police Lt. Michael Hurley said. "There'll be a determination later about what the town wants to do with the beaches going forward."

Beachgoers said the Wellfleet beach is popular with surfers, and with sunny skies and warm temperatures Saturday it was busy, even though the summer season was over and lifeguards were no longer on watch.

There have been frequent shark sightings this summer along the outer Cape, often leading to beach closings. The National Park Service, which manages many of the beaches, said it had closed beaches for at least an hour about 25 times by the end of August this year — more than double the annual average.

The state's last shark attack fatality was on July 25, 1936, when Joseph Troy Jr., 16, was bitten in waters off Mattapoisett.