A South Carolina man is recovering after falling victim to a shark attack off a beach near Charleston on Friday afternoon, an area recently determined to be one of the riskiest coastlines in the United States.
The attack took place around 2:15 p.m. at Sullivan’s Island, according to WLTX. The 30-year-old victim, who has not been identified, was attacked by a six-foot-long animal that appeared to be a sand shark, which injured his foot. An ambulance was called and the man was transported to Mount Pleasant hospital where he received stitches to close the wounds. Despite his injuries, he was in good condition following the incident, Sullivan’s Island officials noted.
— The Ocean Project (@theoceanproject) May 12, 2015
When authorities responded, they managed to locate the shark, though they pointed out that it didn’t appear to be acting aggressively. Once confronted, the sand shark simply swam away. No other sharks were observed in the area following the attack.
— David Shiffman (@WhySharksMatter) May 12, 2015
Last year, a study concluded that Sullivan’s Island, along with nearby Folly Beach, are the riskiest places in the continental United States in relation to shark attacks. According to the Post And Courier, the study was conducted by researchers Raid Amin, Erich Ritter, and Ashleigh Wetzel. They determined that beachgoers find themselves 35 times more likely to suffer a shark attack in those two areas than anywhere else along the Carolina coastline. The study examined not only the geographic distance between shark attacks, but also correlated results with the number of individuals estimated to utilize those sites year-round.
— Shark Week (@SharkWeek) May 14, 2015
While the area exhibits a high number of shark related incidents, it is important to note that South Carolina hasn’t reported a fatal shark attack since the 1850s. Though massive sharks, including great whites, swim regularly off the Carolina coast as the Inquisitr has previously reported, at times even approaching beaches, the predators are rarely interested in humans. Attacks are often a case of mistaken identity, and in many cases can be tied to other circumstances, like murky or thrashing water. Sharks will bite at times to determine whether a person is a potential meal, quickly letting go when they realize a human is unappetizing.
Despite the higher risk of shark attacks in the region, serious wounds from the predators are also exceedingly rare in South Carolina.
[Photo by Chris McGrath / Getty Images]