Fear of sharks is at an all-time high after an 8-year-old boy was attacked by a shark off the coast of North Carolina Wednesday, marking the fourth such event off the state’s coast in the past two weeks.
The boy sustained superficial injuries to his foot and leg at the Surf City Beach, but news of the encounter spread quickly in the town that does not have an official lifeguard staff, WRAL reported.
Larry Bergman, the town manager, told the station that he’d close the beach if there was a “big hazard”. He also added that those at the beach swim “kind of at their own risk.” He said the town has increased police beach controls as of late.
The boy was treated at the scene and his parents took him to an emergency room to have his wounds cleaned after.
“Police and EMS felt like it wasn’t a serious bite,” Bergman said.
The young boy had been swimming about five blocks from a fishing pier at the time of the attack. Town policy prohibits people from swimming or surfing within 300 feet of a fishing pier, Bergman said.
This shark attack comes on the heels of a double-attack on June 14, when a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old, had an arm amputated after their shark bites. One victim had been swimming about 100 yards from a fishing pier when she was attacked. Three days prior to the double shark attacks, a 13-year-old girls suffered small cuts on her foot from a shark bite at Ocean Isle Beach.
Director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History, George Burgess, says that sharks attacking humans is rare, especially successive ones.
He told the Star News Online that in 40 years of studying sharks he had only seen two cases of successive attacks: One in Florida 15 or 20 years ago, and another in Egypt in 2010.