Marine injured in 8th shark attack along North Carolina coast

Bywith the Associated Press via WTVD logo
Monday, July 6, 2015
EMBED <>More Videos

A spokesman for the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune said victim was brought into the hospital Saturday night.

SURF CITY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Marine was injured over the weekend in the eighth shark attack along the North Carolina coast so far this season.

A spokesman for the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune said the victim was brought into the hospital late Saturday night.

The bite happened in Surf City. The 32-year-old Camp Lejeune Marine was treated for bites to forearm and right hand and was later released.

WWAY reported that Pender County Emergency Management and Surf City Police received no calls of shark bites in the area, so the location of the incident is unknown.

Seven other people have been attacked by sharks along the North Carolina coast in the past three weeks. The most recent was Wednesday when a 68-year-old man was injured off Ocracoke Island.

Andrew Costello suffered wounds to his ribcage, lower leg, hip and both hands as he tried to fight off the animal, said Justin Gibbs, the director of emergency services in Hyde County. The attack happened around noon on a beach on Ocracoke Island, right in front of a lifeguard tower, he said.

Related story: Shark awareness tips

North Carolina has seen the most attacks in one year in the 80 years for which the Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark Attack File keeps records. The highest previous total was five attacks in 2010. Three of the 52 confirmed shark attacks between 1935 and 2014 were deadly, according to the database.

Most of this year's attacks happened in shallow water. The injuries ranged widely: An 8-year-old boy had only minor wounds to his heel and ankle, while at least two others have required amputation.

Shark experts say the recent spate of attacks along on the coast of the Carolinas is due to so many more people getting in the water. Americans made 2.2 billion visits to beaches in 2010, up from 2 billion in 2001, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimate.

The record-breaking numbers of shark bites might be related to an unseasonably hot June that rapidly raised ocean temperatures off North Carolina and prompted fish to migrate north earlier than usual, said Chuck Bangley, a shark researcher at East Carolina University.

Roger Rulifson, a distinguished professor of biology and senior scientist at East Carolina University, said recently that there have been reports of small bait fish coming closer to shore this summer, which attracts sharks. There have also been reports of larger numbers of sea turtles along the coast, which sharks also like to eat, he said.

Report a Typo