FOLLY BEACH - A shark took several quick nips at a 10-year-old boy boogie boarding at the Washout on Wednesday afternoon. The child's injuries aren't serious but needed stitches, according to Folly Beach Fire Chief Steve Mims.
"It's not life threatening at all," Mims said. "He has several bites on his lower leg."
The child was bit some 30-40 yards out in a rising tide, and paddled to the beach. He guessed the shark to be at least 4 feet long. The child was with his family on the beach when emergency responders arrived shortly after 2 p.m. Mims would not say whether the boy was a resident or vacationer, but the chief said he was impressed with the boarder's demeanor.
"The guy is in good spirits. He's a very brave guy. I would hope if that happened to me, I could be that composed," Mims said.
Sharks are common and abundant on the Lowcountry coast, but bites are rare. Despite thousand of people in the water at a time during the summer, only six people were confirmed to have been bitten in the state in 2013.
Most bites involve a surfer or a person thrashing in roiling water, as the shark nips to check for prey. The last fatal attack by a shark in this state was in the 1850s, according to S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
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