A shark attacked a 68-year-old man swimming off a North Carolina beach on Wednesday and bit him repeatedly, causing injuries to his torso, hip, leg and hands, authorities said.
The attack off Ocracoke Island was the latest in a recent spate of reported shark incidents in the state, including back-to-back strikes last month in which two youths were badly mauled.
The man injured on Wednesday had been swimming 25 to 30 feet (8 to 9 meters) off the beach in waist-deep water with his adult son, according to a National Park Service Cape Hatteras National Seashore post on Facebook.
No other swimmers were injured, the Park Service said.
A gray shark, 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 meters) long, pulled the man underwater and bit his rib cage, hip, lower left leg and both hands, according to the Park Service and local officials.
The attack took place in front of a lifeguard stand, a Hyde County statement said, and the man was able to swim to shore, where lifeguards helped him out of the water.
Emergency workers stabilized the victim, who was flown to a hospital for further treatment, authorities said. His name was not immediately released.
Wednesday’s attack followed two others on Saturday, when a 17-year-old boy and a 47-year-old man were injured off North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
On June 14, a 16-year-old boy lost an arm and a 12-year-old girl lost part of an arm in separate attacks within about an hour and some 2 miles (3 km) apart on the same stretch of beach on Oak Island, North Carolina.
SOURCE: Reuters, Suzannah Gonzales