Officials are urging beachgoers to remain vigilant after a little girl was bitten by a shark off the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Especially as vacationers head to the beach for the July 4th weekend.
Emergency responders rushed to Ocean Isle Beach on Sunday to treat the 7-year-old, who sustained injuries to her leg.
Authorities said those injuries were consistent with a shark bite.
"When more people go in the water, there's an increased opportunity for an interaction with a shark and so you see that happening on the east coast of the United States during our summers," Chris Fischer of OCEARCH.org told ABC News.
But it comes as researchers say they've located a separate 12-foot great white named Ironbound off the shores of North Carolina.
The 998lb shark pinged off Hatteras Island.
Out west, a surfer was bitten by a great white shark south of San Francisco in the back of his right leg.
"I hustled over to him and the first thing he said was, 'shark bite, can you help me I've been bit by a shark,'" a witness said. "I kind of immediately went into, you know, kind of this fight or flight mode and did my best to try to help him."
Bystanders helped to wrap the wound until paramedics could transport the 35-year-old man to the hospital.
Officials said he lost about a pint of blood.
"Increased likelihood is obviously going to occur in the summertime when more people are getting into water and particularly if people are choosing to get in the water in and around seals, and basically now swimming with their food," Fischer said.
Though these incidents are rare, experts caution to pay attention to your surroundings before deciding to jump in the wayer.
"People do need to just use some common sense when they go to the beach," Fischer said. "You don't want to swim right out into the middle of the food chain if you see baits and fish crashing and seals feeding and birds diving, I would move down the beach to a quieter place where you can go swimming and the whole food chain is not colliding."
12-foot great white shark tracked off North Carolina coast
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