Eight-Year-Old Boy Bitten by Shark Off North Carolina Coast

Mateo Saez prepares to enter the ocean water off of Haulover Beach where a rare shark attack occured on Sunday afternoon on July 11, 2017 in Sunny Isles, Florida. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said they believe the person bitten, Elvin Lanza, was bitten by a 4- to 5-foot bull shark. …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The unnamed boy was bitten while swimming on Father’s Day. He is the third North Carolina shark attack victim this month.

Village Manager Chris McCall said that the boy was bitten on the leg while he was in the water just off Bald Head Island. The bite was ruled a shark attack “based on an assessment by first responders and the wounds he sustained,” though both the size and type of shark remain unknown.

The child’s wounds were not considered life threatening, but he was transported from the island by ferry, and taken to a local hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Unfortunately, he is just the latest in a string of recent aquatic attacks.

17-year-old Paige Winter was the first, attacked on Atlantic Beach on June 2. Her wounds were significantly more serious: She lost nearly the entirety of her left leg, and two fingers. On June 11, Austin Reed was bitten while surfing near Ocean Isle Beach. He was fortunate to escape with only soft tissue damage to his right foot.

According to records kept by trackingsharks.com, the boy is the 24th publicly reported victim of an unprovoked shark attack in 2019. Of those, four have proved fatal. “Statistics show that you are more likely to die from a car crash than be killed by a shark,” their website reads, though “understanding the risk” is important. “When you enter the water, you are visiting the shark’s home.”

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