Officials say that an 11-year-old boy was bitten by a shark on Saturday afternoon around 2:24 p.m. The boy was surfing off the coast of North Carolina, just west of the bath house at Fort Macon State Park, when the shark attack occurred.
As reported by WCTI, Atlantic Beach Fire Chief Adam Snyder said that the boy suffered “deep wounds” to his left foot and was hospitalized. Snyder added that while no details are available about the size of the shark, he believes that this was “a case of mistaken identity.”
Apparently, sharks mistaking surfers for prey is becoming more common. This was the second incident of someone getting bitten by a shark at Atlantic Beach in just three weeks.
On June 11, Atlantic Beach Fire Chief Adam Snyder confirmed that emergency crews responded to a call for a shark bite Saturday shortly before 3 p.m. An 18-year-old male was bitten by a shark while on vacation in Atlantic Beach.
According to witnesses, the 18-year-old was swimming in the water when a shark, about three to four feet in length, bit the swimmer on the hand. The incident occurred just west of Atlantic Beach Circle.
“He was swimming in the ocean and as soon as he was trying to get out there was kind of blood everywhere and he said he got bit by a shark and everyone asked how do you know and he said I saw it,” said one of the witnesses.
As the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) reports, 98 of 164 worldwide shark attacks in 2015 were unprovoked – meaning that the sharks did not feel threatened but mistook the humans as prey in the sharks’ natural habitat.
The 98 unprovoked shark attacks in 2015 have been the highest on record. “The total of 59 unprovoked attacks in the United States (including seven in non-North American Hawaii) set a U.S. standard, surpassing previous highs of 53 achieved in 2012 and 2000 and the 2014 total of 52,” writes ISAF.
Despite the two recent shark attacks, Atlantic Beach is expected to remain open.