How Likely Are Shark Attacks On Cape Cod Beaches?: Patch PM


MASSACHUSETTS — It’s Monday, June 21. Here’s what you should know this afternoon:

  • Some New England hospitals are delaying or rescheduling surgeries because of a shortage of blood donations during the pandemic.
  • In a lawsuit, a Black Newton firefighter claims a superior called him a “monkey,” degraded him and his fellow firefighters, made demeaning comments about Black people and criticized him when he complained.
  • More than 10,000 people attended opening day games in the Cape Cod Baseball League — the first games since 2019 — breaking an attendance record.

Scroll down for more on those and other stories Patch has been covering in Massachusetts today.


Today’s Top Story

It’s beach season on Cape Cod, and fairly or not (hint: not), some people imagine they’ll be bitten and killed by a shark. Oh, it does happen. But not very often. In fact, hardly ever.

David Angotti, the founder of a floridapanhandle.com, has the statistics to back that up. He’s in the business of booking vacation rentals in the Florida Panhandle and by, extension, chasing away travelers’ fears about being attacked by sharks while kayaking, snorkeling or just enjoying the surf.

Statistically speaking, the chances you’ll be attacked by a shark are practically zero, Angotti says. And even if you are, your chances of surviving are about 90 percent, according to Angotti’s data.In the past 30 years, there have been 2,711 shark attacks around the world, with a fatality rate of 10.7 percent, according to data assembled by Angotti and his team. Angotti’s interactive global map visually depicts when and where each of 3,000 attacks occurred, along with other interesting facts.

On Cape Cod, there are eight recorded shark attacks, going as far back as 1751, but the majority of them weren’t fatal. There have been two fatal attacks on the Cape, with the earliest in 1751 when someone died while swimming off the coast of Sandwich.

But with four attacks in Massachusetts since 2017 — including a fatal great white shark attack in 2018 at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, some residents and tourists, especially on Cape Cod, are thinking twice before swimming in the ocean.


Monday’s Other Top Stories

Marine guilty in MA student’s death: A military jury convicted a Marine of involuntary manslaughter in the 2019 death of an Emerson College student following a fight in Allston. Lance Corporal Samuel London was court marshaled, dishonorably discharged, fined and sentenced to 65 months in a military prison. Boston police found Daniel J. Hollis, a second-year student at Emerson College, bleeding and unconscious around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 28, 2019. He died a few days later at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Blood shortage forces MA hospitals to reschedule surgeries: Some New England hospitals are delaying or rescheduling surgeries because of a shortage of blood donations during the pandemic. “We haven’t seen anything like this in about 30 or 40 years at least,” Dr. Vishesh Chhibber, director of transfusion medicine at UMass Memorial Health, told the Boston Globe. Periodic, localized blood shortages are not uncommon, but this shortage is “unprecedented in its scope,” said Dr. Claudia Cohn, chief medical officer for the American Association of Blood Banks.

Firefighter sues Newton: A Black Newton firefighter filed a lawsuit last week against the city for creating a hostile work environment. In a lawsuit filed in Middlesex Superior Court, 17-year veteran firefighter Lee Gilliam said a superior called him a “monkey,” degraded him and his fellow firefighters, made demeaning comments about Black people, and criticized him when he complained.

AI-powered ship returns to port: The Mayflower had a few false starts before its trailblazing sea voyage to America more than 400 years ago. Now, its artificial intelligence-powered namesake is having some glitches of its own. A sleek robotic trimaran retracing the 1620 journey of the famous English vessel had to turn back Friday to fix a mechanical problem. The trip was supposed to take up to three weeks to reach Provincetown on Cape Cod before making its way to Plymouth, Massachusetts. If successful, it would be the largest autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic.


Eat fresh: Patch’s 2021 Massachusetts Farmers Market Guide


Picture This

Baseball back on Cape Cod: All 10 Cape Cod Baseball League teams were in action at five venues for opening day Sunday. The result was a total attendance of 10,808, which was more than double the total of 4,828 at 2019 opening day. Each summer, the Cape Cod League showcases top college baseball players from around the country. According to the league, one in every six Major League Baseball players has appeared in the league. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


In Case You Missed It

Five rescued from sinking ship: Marion marine rescuers pulled five people out of the water Saturday when their boat overturned in Buzzards Bay. The boat was situated near Cleveland East Ledge, when the rescue boat came out to help. All five were taken to Mattapoisett Harbor and evaluated by emergency medical services.



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