Wellfleet group raising money for system that detects sharks near beach

Wellfleet group raising money for system that detects sharks near beach

WELLFLEET, Mass. — A community group in Wellfleet is taking shark safety into their own hands after several attacks in recent years.

Just last September, a shark attacked and killed a 26-year-old man as he was bodyboarding at Newcomb Hollow Beach -- a late-summer day turning into a nightmare.

Now the community is raising money for new buoys that detect sharks and sound an alarm if they come close.

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There's already a sign at the top of the beach warning people about sharks, but the group is arguing more needs to be done before anyone else is hurt or killed.

Arthur Medici was the second shark attack victim on the Cape last summer.

"My husband and I were here surfing in the water the day Arthur died," said Ashley Penn, who's helping to raise money for the buoys. "It truly affected us... it was traumatizing and very scary."

Many beachgoers express how they can't help but think, as beaiutiful as the beach is -- it's also dangerous now.

Heather Doyle is leading the initiative to raise money for the new buoys, which they're calling the Arthur Clever Buoy Project. The system uses transponders on the ocean floor that detect sharks with sonar technology. The information is then sent to a buoy on the surface that sounds an alarm if a shark is close by.

The bouys are $20,000 a month to rent -- and so far, the group has raised over $35,000. They plan on donating the money to the Cape Cod National Seashore, who would be the ones to install the system.

Cape Cod National Seashore's Superintendent, Brian Carlstrom, said though the idea is intruiging, more research needs to be done first.

"I've got to do my due diligence as superintendent that if we are going to deploy it, that there's a high probability of success and we'll get a good return on our investment," he said. "I havent seen enough to determine that yet."

As of right now, a collection of gifts, shells and stones are all that's left as a memorial to Medici, but those behind this initiative hope these buoys will become a reality in his memory and for the safety of others just like him.

If you want to learn more about the clever buoy system, there will be a meeting about it in Wellfleet on April 20th. And to learn more about the initiative and donate to the cause, check out the GoFundMe page. The donation deadline for The Arthur Clever Buoy Pilot is April 8, 2019.