Shark Attacks Marine Off North Carolina Coast Over July 4 Weekend

The unusual rash of shark attacks that have plagued the North Carolina coast continued unabated over the holiday weekend, as a marine was injured in an incident at Surf City.

Medical staff at Camp Lejeune naval hospital revealed on Monday that a 32-year-old marine had sought treatment for injuries sustained in a shark attack over the weekend, as the Guardian reports. Spokesman Raymond Applewhite asserted that the attack took place on July 4 off a beach at Surf City, while base spokesman Nat Fahy described the injuries inflicted by the shark as lacerations on the man’s right hand and forearm.

The injured marine was treated for his wounds at Camp Lejeune hospital after a friend transported him there on Saturday evening. He was then discharged on Sunday, as ABC 11 reports. Pender County Emergency Management and Surf City Police assert that they received no calls following the shark attack, leaving the exact location of the incident uncertain.

The attack represents the eighth to have taken place along the North Carolina coastline over the last few months. The increase in shark activity is dramatic, as the region usually sees only one to two such incidents over the course of a typical summer. Researchers have largely been at a loss to explain the uptick in shark attacks, though some have asserted that an increased number of beachgoers has potentially led to a heightened chance of interaction. Warmer-than-average currents off the East Coast have also been cited as a reason that sharks are moving northward earlier in the year than usual.

While most shark attacks along the East Coast typically result in only minor injuries, several of the incidents off the North Carolina coastline have been notable for both their severity and proximity to one another, as the Inquisitr has previously reported. Last month, a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old both lost limbs in attacks that transpired within two miles of each other, just 90 minutes apart. The Outer Banks, meanwhile, saw three shark attacks take place within a single week, leaving at least one victim, a teenager, in critical condition.

Safety officials in the state are searching for patterns behind the incidents in an effort to safeguard beachgoers. With the rising tide of shark attacks showing no signs of abating, however, this summer’s visitors to the North Carolina coast will be approaching the surf with an understandable apprehension.

[Photo by Ian Waldie / Getty Images]