Two shark attacks in different states happened over a three-day period with one in Florida and the other in North Carolina. Both men suffered bites resulting in lacerations requiring stitches.
Carson Jewell was surfing Saturday at Masonboro Island in North Carolina when he spotted a shark. Jewell tells Star News Online:
“It was probably 4 or 5 feet long. I didn’t really pay much attention to it.”
Jewell was with two friend in Masonboro that day. The surfer was body-surfing a wave into shore when a shark bit his right hand. He didn’t see it, but he felt the attack. He says:
“Immediately I knew what had happened. By the time I stood up out of the water, I was bleeding profusely.”
Jewell’s friends created a tourniquet from a surfboard leash, which helped stop the bleeding. All three headed back to shore and took Jewell to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The surfer explains:
“The two sides of my hands are completely thrashed. The area around my wrist was really serious. It punctured – but didn’t sever – the artery. If you hold the hand up now, you can see perfectly the shape of the shark’s mouth.”
Luckily, Jewell only needed stitches. He didn’t have any broken bones or severed tendons. He did experience decreased sensation in his thumb and the palm of his hand on the pinky side. In about 10 days, he’ll have his stitches removed. Jewell says the injury is mostly an inconvenience, but it doesn’t hurt now. He hasn’t needed to take any pain medication, and expects to be at work by Thursday. He adds that he won’t be using a knife for a good few weeks.
Jewell has surfed for about 25 years, and the thought of shark attacks hasn’t scared him because he’s seen them “a million times.” He does admit he’ll “take it more seriously next time.”
The second man to suffer a shark attack over a three-day period is a 39-year-old who was bait-fishing in knee-deep water on Okaloosa Island, Florida, on Monday. He’s “pretty confident” he was bitten by a shark, according to NFW Daily News. Officials also believe he was bitten by a shark. The incident happened at the western-most edge of the island.
Mike Simmons with the Okaloosa Island Fire Department says:
“He said it grabbed him with enough force that when it grabbed his foot and pulled, he felt like his leg was being pulled out of the socket.”
The unidentified man was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. He suffered non-life threatening injuries, but the wound is deep and required stitches. Simmons describes the bite:
“It was definitely a shark. You could tell by the bite marks.”
Simmons says the victim recalls the creature being a “gray” color and about the size of his 11-year-old son. Considering how deceptive the water makes actual size, officials are “guesstimating” that the shark is closer to 4-feet.
Michele Nicholson with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office tells the news source:
“He is pretty confident it was a shark. He saw it swimming away from him.”
The man was sitting in a chair with ice on the punctured wound when the first lifeguard arrived. His location was near the second sandbar believed to be about 75 yards off-shore.
The man was out near the second sandbar, which is estimated to be about 75 yards off shore.
Shark attacks are predicted to be higher than normal this summer with the number of them swimming in popular areas.
[Image via SharkTrust.org]