He Thought He Stepped on a Shell. Then He Saw a Shadow

Teen is SC island's 4th shark victim this summer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 14, 2017 3:01 AM CDT
A shark-alert flag at the US National Parks Service's Cape Cod headquarters.   (AP Photo/Philip Marcelo)

(Newser) – Researchers say a teen appears to have suffered a shark bite on South Carolina's Hilton Head Island. Linton Suttle, 13, tells the Island Packet that he was swimming Thursday near Sea Pines Beach Club when he felt a sharp pain in his foot. His parents used photos of comparable bites and an exchange with shark researchers to confirm it was a shark bite. The family received an email from George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, confirming the bite was from a shark, the AP reports. The North Carolina teen escaped without major injuries but has to use crutches and stay out of the ocean for the rest of his family's vacation.

Suttle says he was pushing his 11-year-old sister on a boogie board when he was bitten. "I thought maybe it was a seashell, but as I turned around to look I saw a shadow swim away and I knew I had just got bit by a shark," he says. "My first thought was that I wanted to get my sister out of the water." Suttle is the fourth shark bite victim on Hilton Head this summer, the Packet reports. A 10-year-old boy was bitten on July 28, and two girls, ages 14 and 16, were attacked within three days of each other in June. None of the bites were life-threatening, indicating they were from smaller sharks. (Read more shark attack stories.)

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