Shark Attacks Scarsdale Man Standing in Water Off Cape Cod, Leaves Him Badly Hurt

Authorities are looking into whether his wounds are consistent with a bite from a great white shark

What to Know

  • Police said an NY man was bitten by a shark at Long Nook Beach in Truro, Massachusetts on Wednesday afternoon.
  • The victim, a 61-year-old from Scarsdale, suffered "deep puncture wounds" to his torso and leg; he is hospitalized in serious condition
  • There have been numerous shark sightings off Cape Cod in recent weeks, including several close calls involving fishermen

A 61-year-old Scarsdale man remains hospitalized in serious condition Thursday, a day after he was bitten by a shark while standing in the water just 30 yards off shore of a Cape Cod beach, authorities said. 

William Lytton, a professor at SUNY Downtown, suffered "deep puncture wounds" to his torso and leg in the attack near Long Nook Beach in Truro, according to police. He was taken by medical helicopter to Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Tufts said his family has asked for privacy, and it will release no additional information about his condition. No one answered the door at his Scarsdale home Thursday, but neighbors said he has two children and they usually vacation at the Cape.

It wasn't clear if the family was on vacation at the time of the attack. 

It's also not clear what kind of shark bit Lytton, who was the first person to be attacked by any kind of shark in those waters since 2012. Massachusetts' leading shark expert is trying to determine if his wounds are consistent with a bite from a great white. 

A group of nursing graduate students were at the beach at the time of the attack and stepped in to help the bitten man until emergency crews arrived. 

"We just kind of gave him towels, wrapped his leg up because there was clearly a shark bite there," said Molly Tobin, one of the grads. "A bunch of people helped with carrying him down the beach." 

"When he was transported, he was conscious, alert, speaking with rescue personnel," Truro Police Department Lt. Craig Danziger said.

Long Nook Beach has been closed to swimming until further notice, according to the town's website, but some swimmers were still seen swimming in the water even after the attack. 

U.S. National Park Service rangers are investigating.

There have been a number of close encounters in recent weeks, with sharks leaping out of the water after fishing lines and one even jumping at a shark scientist who was on a research boat.

There have been 10 great white shark sightings in the past week, and more than 60 over the last month off Cape Cod, according to the Sharktivity app.

It's been six years since a shark has attacked a person off the Massachusetts coast.

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