Blaine Shelton was swimming at a Texas beach earlier this month when he was suddenly attacked by a shark of unknown description, being bitten severely on the thigh, according to Fox News. He was about 200 yards from the shoreline when he was struck by the shark, sinking its teeth into the meaty part of this thigh just above the knee.
After he was initially treated for his wounds inflicted on August 9 incurred whilst swimming around Boliver Island’s Crystal Beach, Mr. Shelton was forced to return to the hospital for follow-up treatment as his condition worsened. He was initially released from the hospital last week, but almost immediately began experiencing extreme pain surrounding his wounds from the shark bite.
“You see all that dried stuff right there? That’s what was dying,” Shelton told interviewers from KHOU11 as they talked about the incident in great detail, referencing the necrotic tissue symptomatic of the flesh-eating bacteria doctors have diagnosed him with. He added that he had heard reports that there were bacteria present in the water but hadn’t taken the warnings at all seriously up until being afflicted by the disease himself.
Shelton has launched a GoFundMe page in support of his increasing medical bills as a result of the terrifying shark attack, having raised $750 since the writing of this article — a far cry from the $30,000 goal. He wrote on the fundraising page that he was back under the care of staff at the hospital and was “in good hands” despite the harrowing events and the illness that proceeded.
Recalling the events of the day which he was bitten, Shelton — who works in the construction field — remembered seeing a fin protruding from the water and recognizing the threat almost immediately.
“I already saw the fin, and I knew it wasn’t a porpoise… So I turn around to get out of there, and that’s when he grabbed me by the leg.”
While shark attacks are typically quite rare — National Geographic taking the time to point out that more Americans are injured by toilets and room fresheners than are injured by shark bites — that is little consolation to those like Blaine Shelton who are victimized by the aquatic predators. As CBS reports, there have only been a total of 65 shark attacks upon humans documented since 1865, although this tally does not include Shelton’s incident.
Of these attacks, only seven were provoked, leaving 58 incidents on record as unprovoked.
Swimmers would do well to be wary of their surroundings, not simply in caution concerning the worst case scenario, but also as a general safety rule. Sharks are not the only dangerous life in the sea or the ocean, and the waves themselves claim more lives than any living threat that lives in the coastal waters. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death amongst pre-teen and pubescent children, according to Colin’s Hope, with 50 accidental drownings having taken place in Texas so far in 2018.