Shark bite victim still in hospital
By Kenneth A. Gailliard
The Sun News
North Myrtle Beach police may never know for certain what type of shark bit a visitor from New York.
Police are confident it was a shark that bit 68-year-old Clair Parrett while she was in the ocean Tuesday based on information from a Conway Medical Center doctor who is familiar with shark bites, said Sgt. David Capps of the North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety.
He said a witness who was in the water with Parrett described the shark as being about 3 or 4 feet long.
Police won't investigate further to try to determine what type of shark was responsible, Capps said, but the incident will be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard in Georgetown for record keeping.
The culprit likely was a black tip shark, he said, one of the many species common in the Myrtle Beach area.
Police said Parrett, who is expected to remain at Conway Medical Center through Friday, suffered bites on her fingers, calf and heel.
He said police think she was bitten on the fingers when she reached down to swat at the shark after it bit her on the calf. She then ran from the water, possibly causing the shark to scrape her heal as she ran.
Parrett told police she didn't see anything out of the ordinary at the time of the bite.
Police have said the bites usually occur accidentally when sharks hunt small fish as they swim near people.
Capps said small tidal pools have formed on the beach since Hurricane Ophelia and the shark might have been in one of those pools when it encountered Parrett.
Three people have been bitten by sharks this summer in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle beach.
Clay Creswell, a case investigator from the Shark Research Institute in New Jersey, said the number of bites is about average for the summer.
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