8-year-old appears to be bitten by shark, suffers minor injuries

Published: Jun. 24, 2015 at 6:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2015 at 6:52 PM EDT
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SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - An 8-year-old boy suffered minor injuries Wednesday afternoon from what appeared to be a small shark bite, according to the Surf City Police Department.

Officials said the incident happened around 12:25 p.m., near 700 South Shore Drive.

Police say the wounds were superficial and the child is expected to be okay. Surf City Police and Pender East EMS responded and provided treatment on scene.

According to the police chief, the victim had what looked like a bite mark on the top of the foot and a puncture wound on the heel. The bite was about 7 inches in diameter.

"It's something we try to prepare for and it was a good chance to talk to our public safety folks about the things we can do to respond to whether it's that kind of injury or any other injury," explained Surf City Town Manager Larry Bergman.

Bergman says the town does not plan to warn visitors about the shark bite or tell swimmers to get out of the water, but it has increased police beach patrols.

"There are a lot of hazards on the beach and the ocean and we try to tell people about things that are more common and an issue like rip tides for example," said Bergman. "But sharks live out there, lots of other creatures are out in the ocean, so it's just a matter of what's the best way to prevent or minimize those hazards whether it's riptides or sharks."

A man from Charlotte was vacationing at Topsail Island when he heard a child screaming in the water and helped rescue him, according to WBTV. The man said he believes the bite marks on the boy's leg appeared to be from a shark.

The child's parents took the boy to the emergency room for more assessment. His identity has not been released.

This incident comes ten days after a 16-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl were bitten by sharks at Oak Island. They both were taken to the hospital and each had an arm amputated.

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