A USA Marine attacked by shark off Surf City, North Carolina 2015 North Carolina Shark Attack
Camp Lejeune Marine treated for shark bite off NC coast
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. —Medical personnel at Camp Lejeune say a Marine was bitten by a shark off the North Carolina coast last weekend, the eighth such attack in the last three weeks.
Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital spokesman Raymond Applewhite told WITN-TV in Washington the 32-year-old Marine was bitten offshore at Surf City on July 4. Base spokesman Nat Fahy said Monday that the Marine suffered lacerations to his right hand and forearm.
Fahy said the patient was taken to the Camp Lejeune hospital by a friend late Saturday night. He was released early Sunday.
Prior to the latest attack, North Carolina had already set a record for the most shark bites off the state's coast in the 80 years in which records have been kept.
Officials said sharks are common along the coast, and swimmers should be aware of conditions at all times. They said swimmers should watch out for swim patterns of smaller fish that could indicate they are avoiding a predator. It is safest to swim on sunny clear days, avoid dirty or murky water and to not swim after heavy rains. Swimmers should not wear shiny jewelry. Swimmers are also encouraged to have a partner in the water with them and to never swim with an open wound of any kind. And never swim at dusk or dawn, or at night.
Arnold Postell, a senior biologist at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charlestonsays heat may be contributing to the high number of shark bites.
"With as hot as it's been over the last few weeks to a month, it just might be that we're in the water more," Postell said.
Postell also said some of these shark bites happened close to places where people were fishing.
"Sharks are going to go after bait fish so that's something that I would always
be considerate of. So if people are fishing in an area, they are putting bait in and possibly chumming for sharks by adding a lot of food and even blood to pull the sharks towards the beaches and the piers," Postell said.
Postell points out that just about everyone carries a cellphone camera these days, so we are learning about the shark bites much faster than we used to.
George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, said if you swim in the ocean, chances are good you have been within 6 to 7 feet of a shark, and most of the time there are no incidents.
Burgess encouraged heightened awareness while swimming in the ocean, and for those watching over swimmers.
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