A 68-year-old man was attacked by a shark while swimming in the waters of North Carolina, making it the seventh shark attack that happened in this state in less than a month. According to local officials, the man had serious injuries on his lower leg, ribcage, hands and hip. The man was bit by the shark while he was swimming off the Ocracoke Island. Justin Gibbs, one of the local emergency officials, stated that the man tried to fight off the shark, hitting the animals with his fists and feet, which probably saved his life.
Gibbs said that the 68-year-old man was swimming in front of the lifeguard tower when the shark attack occurred. The shark started biting the man and tried to pull him under. Witnesses said the shark was almost 7 feet long.
When the North Carolina shark attack happened, the man was swimming with his son in waist-deep water, approximately 30 feet offshore. Officials from the National Park Service said the shark did not attack any other swimmers.
This is the seventh North Carolina shark attack in less than three weeks and officials said this hasn’t happened in more than 15 years. Most of the attacks occurred in relatively shallow water, which is uncommon.
According to the experts, the reason for so many shark attacks along the North Carolina coast is that an increasing number of people are getting into the water. A report released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows that in 2010 there were 2.2 billion visits to the beach, compared to 2001, when there were 2 billion visits.
Researchers explained that another reason for these shark attacks could be that bait fish have been swimming closer to the shore in the past couple of years, which can attract the sharks. Also, a large number of turtles have been seen along the coast, which is another favorite shark food.
Laura Irish Hefty, one of the people who were at the beach when the shark attack occurred, said she saw people agitating on the beach and went to see what was going on. According to her, her husband saw the victim of the shark attack, whose legs were covered in blood. The man received medical attention on the spot and was later taken to the hospital by helicopter.
Hefty said that a few hours after the incident, people went back into the water as if nothing had happened.
Image Source: jezebel