Shark Bites 12-Year-Old Boy Off South Carolina Beach

A 12-year-old boy has been bitten by a shark off the coast of South Carolina, marking another incident in a spate of attacks both major and minor that have engulfed the East Coast.

Kysen Weakley was bitten on Tuesday night around 6 p.m., according to Deseret News, while he was swimming with his 7-year-old cousin at the Isle of Palms, located northeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The children were swimming just 15 feet from shore when the shark attacked, and according to Kysen’s mother, Alene Weakley, she at first though her son had been bitten by a small fish.

“He pulls up his swimming suit, and there’s just teeth marks in the thigh of his leg. I was trying to process: ‘Is that a shark bite?’ That was the first thing that came into my mind, but I was like, ‘How can that be a shark bite?'”

The wound required eight stitches to close, according to ABC News, and lifeguards were able to tend to Kysen immediately after the shark incident. Though the local fire department was called to the scene, they did not provide any treatment due to the superficial nature of the injury. Cynthia Wilson, manager at the Isle of Palms County Park, noted that both the boy and his mother were calm when they approached lifeguards.

“The son had said that he was looking forward to showing his friends his bite,” she recalled. “They took it well.”

The incident transpired just a day before a shark attack took place along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As the Inquisitr previously reported, a 68-year-old man was attacked by a shark off Ocracoke Island, suffering substantial, but not life-threatening, wounds.

The Carolinas have seen a marked increase in shark attacks over recent weeks, compared to previous years. North Carolina in particular has recorded seven such attacks, the most ever documented in a season according to the International Shark Attack File. South Carolina, by contrast, has only reported two shark incidents, a number far more in keeping with the typical average.

Most of the attacks that usually occur off the East Coast result in only minor injuries, but the recent shark incidents in North Carolina have been notable for their severity. Several beachgoers have sustained serious injuries, leaving one teenager in critical condition. Two children who were attacked at Oak Island last month both lost limbs during their shark encounters, and those incidents occurred just two miles and 90 minutes apart. Researchers noted that such a close set of shark attacks are extremely rare.

Though a variety of shark species are known to frequent the coast of South Carolina, it is not immediately apparent which one was responsible for the 12-year-old’s bite.

[Photo by Ian Waldie / Getty Images]