An 11-year-old boy is in hospital after suffering a shark bite off of Atlantic Beach on Saturday afternoon. The boy was surfing west of Fort Macon State Park on Saturday afternoon, according to CBS, when the shark attack happened.
Atlantic Beach Fire Chief Adam Snyder was first on the beach after the shark bit the boy and said first responders were called to Fort Macon State Park just west of the bath house at 2:34 p.m.
The shark attack victim suffered severe “deep wounds” to his left foot in “a case of mistaken identity” according to Fire Chief Snyder.
The 11-year-old Carteret County boy was transported to Carteret Health Care with non-life threatening injuries, according to Fox8, but there has not been any report on his recovery at this stage.
The size of the shark that bit the young boy is unknown, and the Atlantic Beach was not closed after the shark attack, surfers continued to catch waves the rest of Saturday afternoon.
This is the second shark bite to happen off of Atlantic Beach this summer. An 18-year-old man suffered shark bites to his hands and wrist on June 11 after being bitten by a shark while in 3-foot-deep water.
— Radio 95.1 (@Radio_951) June 23, 2016
The second shark attack this June is prompting fears that shark attacks are on the rise again, like this time last year. North Carolina experienced an increase in shark attacks in the summer of 2015 with a record-breaking eight shark bites for the state over the course of the year, according to Outsider Online.
There was also a rise in shark bites globally, 98 shark attacks were reported worldwide in 2015, 30 of those shark attacks happened in Florida and a total of 59 occurred in the United States, which is up from 53 attacks in 2014, according to National Geographic.
Australia had 18 incidents and South Africa had eight shark attacks, the increase in shark attacks is due to El Niño, global warming and the rise in water temperature, with 2015 being the hottest year on record.
Despite the rise in shark attacks, the number of fatalities has stayed the same at six deaths per year, so people should not panic.
https://t.co/aCoT69sow8 – 2016 North Carolina Shark Attack Map and Timeline
— Alex Hall (@devseo) June 25, 2016
George Burgess, who works at the Florida Museum of Natural History and wrote a report on the rise of shark attacks, said that the increase in shark attacks can be put down to more people going into the water, meaning that the risk of survival is actually higher.
“The chances for any individual who goes in the water surviving have probably never been higher, since there are so many more of us going out than before,” he said.
One 2014 study by Tulane University said the chance of dying from a shark bite or shark attack is one in 8 million and that people need to remember that we are the real threat.
Burgess pointed out that “we’re killing a lot more sharks than they’re killing us,” and that people slaughter 100 million sharks a year. Sharks are endangered and threatened in many parts of the world and need protection despite the rise in attacks.
Here's the a real #sharkattack looks like.
— Racing Extinction (@RacingXtinction) June 26, 2016
The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) has recommended these simple precautions to avoid shark attacks:
- Don’t swim at dawn or after dark, when sharks are known to be most active.
- If you get cut, stay out of the water.
- If you see a lot of small bait fish swimming around, or spot dolphins (which, like sharks, eat the bait fish), leave the water—their presence could be a sign that sharks are in the area.
- Stay a decent distance from piers, where fishing bait and fish guts (from cleaned fish) smell like ambrosia to the average bull shark.
- If you have the choice, swim in the sound–a body of water protected between two pieces of land–where the lack of waves means sharks are less likely to mistake you for a fish. Conversely, avoid inlets, where the frenetic activity of estuaries meeting the sea both attracts sharks and makes it difficult for them to see and hear clearly.
[Photo by Wildestanimal/Getty Images]