A shark bit a boy swimming off Hilton Head Island in South Carolina over the weekend. Linton Suttle, a 13-year-old boy from North Carolina, was pushing his sister on a boogie board near Sea Pines Beach Club when he suddenly felt a sharp stabbing pain in his foot.
“I thought maybe it was a seashell, but as I turned around to look I saw a shadow swim away and I knew I had just got bit by a shark,” Linton Suttle told local Island Packet reporters.
The shark bite victim said his first thought after realizing what had happened was to get his 11-year-old sister out of the water.
The North Carolina boy’s parents took photos of the bite marks on Suttle’s foot and shared them via an exchange with Florida Program for Shark Research team members. The researchers confirmed the teenager swimming off Hilton Head Island was indeed bitten by a shark.
Fortunately, Linton Suttle did not suffer any major injuries, but will have to walk on crutches for a while – and remain out of the ocean for the near future. The North Carolina teenager is the fourth Hilton Head shark bite victim confirmed by the Florida research group so far this summer.
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Kristy Suttle, the shark bite victim’s mother, said her son could have lost a toe if the wound had occurred just an inch to the left. The grateful teen’s mother also noted her son was attacked by the shark during the first day of their family vacation.
South Carolina does not have any official shark bite reporting requirements, according to a Daily Mail report. The Florida Museum of Natural History and the International Shark Attack File boast the oldest and the most comprehensive shark bite database in the United States.
On July 28, Johnny Simatacolos, 10, also sustained a shark bite while swimming off the beach at Sea Pines Beach. Earlier this summer, Olivia Wallhauser, a 16-year-old Jasper, Indiana, girl was bitten by a shark while swimming in shallow water off South Forest Beach. Reagan Readnour, a 14-year-old Lewis Center, Ohio, girl was pulled from her boogie board and bitten multiple time by a shark while swimming off Burkes Beach.
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The shark attacks on the teen girls happened within a six-mile radius of each other. All of the Hilton Head Island area shark bite victims sustained minor injuries, which has led Florida Program for Shark Research team members to conclude that the South Carolina attacks were initiated by small sharks.
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