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N.Y. victim of shark bite in Truro upgraded to fair condition

A man is transferred from a Truro ambulance to a MedFlight helicopter after being attacked by a shark in South Wellfleet.Merrily Cassidy/Associated Press/The Cape Cod Times via AP

The New York man who was bitten by a shark earlier this week was improving Saturday, while the beach in Truro where he was attacked remained closed to swimmers.

William Lytton, 61, of Scarsdale, N.Y., was listed in fair condition at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Lytton was standing about 30 yards offshore at Longnook Beach when he was bitten Wednesday, but he was able to make it to shore and sustained puncture wounds to his hip area.

Truro officials announced Friday that Longnook Beach would remain closed for swimming until further notice because of “continued shark activity.” On Saturday, attendants were stationed at the beach and distributing brochures about shark safety to beachgoers, who are still allowed to sunbathe there, according to the town’s Beach Office.


Longnook Beach has been closed since Lytton was attacked.

Greg Skomal, a senior biologist with the state Division of Marine Fisheries, said he had no new information about the incident.

The hospital spokeswoman said Lytton wasn’t available for an interview and his family has asked for “complete privacy.”

Witnesses said beachgoers ran to Lytton’s aid, bundling him in a towel and carrying him up the sand dunes to emergency responders. Lytton’s gash was deep, almost to the bone, one witness said.

Lytton is a professor of physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. He graduated from Harvard University in 1978.

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.