Delaware Shark Bite: Officials Shut Down Beaches After Shark Attacks Teen Boy

A Delaware teen reportedly suffered a shark bite Monday afternoon at Cape Henlopen State Park. Officials ordered that the beach areas in Sussex County close down until 9 am Tuesday. reports that when the bite occurred, the 16-year-old boy was standing in about 5-feet of water when he felt something grab his left arm. He says that he noticed the shark when it swam away. The unidentified teen was treated for “cuts and gashes” on his forearm at Beebe Medical Center.

CBS Local gives more information on the Delaware shark bite incident by adding that the teen informed the DNREC Parks Enforcement about the attack. It was at about 5 pm Monday when he was in the water and bitten by the shark.

Officials say the boy used his right arm to “flail” at the shark so it would let go of him before swimming away.

Lifeguards on duty at Cape Henlopen treated the teen’s gashes and cuts before the Lewes Fire Department transported him by ambulance to the medical center.

DelawareOnline has more in-depth coverage of the shark bite event. State fisheries biologist, Scott Newlin, says after inspecting photos of the teen’s injuries to his arm, the bite came from a juvenile shark:

“Based on the bites, I’m thinking it was a juvenile sand bar shark.”

The boy’s wound required almost two dozen stitches. Newlin says the 16-year-old’s right hand has abrasions on it from hitting the “sandpaper-like skin” of the shark.

A large sturgeon carcass washed ashore Sunday and could be responsible for attracting sharks. Newlin also says a good number of juvenile sharks are in the area this time of year. He estimates the shark that bit the Delaware teen was likely 3 1/2-feet long. If it was any larger than that, Newlin says the shark would have pulled the boy underwater because they are “extremely powerful.” In this case, the boy was lucky the shark wasn’t any larger.

Although Sussex County beaches have reopened since Tuesday morning, lifeguards and scientists will monitor the beaches for shark activity.

The Delaware shark bite incident happens just days after a teen in Galveston, Texas was bitten by a shark. She was bit on her upper back and right shoulder, but she didn’t require a visit to the emergency room. She was in water up to her waist when she felt something behind her. This related Inquisitr article provides further details on the minor shark attack.

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