Assistant Chief J.R. Haney of the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District said the youth was bitten off Garden City Beach on Thursday and taken to a hospital. In a statement, the hospital said an emergency room physician confirmed that the injuries were shark bites. The boy was expected to be released from the emergency room later Thursday.
The teen is at least the 11th person reported to be bitten or attacked by sharks while swimming on the beaches of the Carolinas this summer. Two of the victims had limbs amputated.
A rash of the incidents came earlier in the summer, on the heels of reports of large sharks caught close to the beach. It alarmed the public and led some to dub the year “The Summer of the Shark.” But it subsided as abruptly as it began.
Sharks are in coastal waters all the time — they tend to feed behind the breakers or along steep drop-offs. Few bites occur, despite the thousands of people in the water each year. Most bites are just tasting nips by smaller sharks when a human thrashing in murky water is mistaken for prey, experts agree.