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09/04/2007 Rory Corr (South Carolina)

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09/04/2007 Rory Corr (South Carolina)

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Teen bounces back after shark attack

By Jessica Johnson (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Friday, September 28, 2007

The wounds are well on their way to healing, and it's clear he's already told the story a few times.

Rory Corr, 15, never saw the powerful fish, but two scabby semi-circles on his calf suggest that a shark mistook the teen for a late afternoon meal.

Rory stood in water up to his stomach along the shore of Sullivan's Island on Sept. 4, taking a break from riding the waves.

He felt a powerful force of water and fins swirling around him.

"When it swam it pushed the water everywhere," Rory said.

Then something clamped down on both his legs.

Rory yelled out to his friend, Louis Duffie, 14, who was about 6 feet away on his surf board.

"Louis, I just got bit by a shark."

Thinking it was a prank, Louis didn't believe what he heard — even after Rory disappeared under water.

The suspected shark shook Rory like a dog playing tug of war, its teeth leaving streaking rips behind.

Rory felt the teeth, he said, but the pressure of his legs knocking together hurt most. He rose above the surface, and Louis saw the flap of a shark's tail and the water around Rory turn to a bloody cloud.

"It was pretty terrifying," Louis said, "to see it happen."

The shark jerked Rory under again and let go. The attack was over in a matter of seconds.

Rory grabbed on to Louis' board, and Louis paddled him to shallow water and ran to call for help.

A passerby wrapped up Rory's calf with a T-shirt. Sullivan's Island Fire and Rescue Department arrived soon after, assisting until an ambulance arrived.

Rory's mother, Victoria Corr, on her way to the beach, showed up about the same moment, seeing an ambulance and other emergency vehicles.

"I was completely hysterical," she said.

Rory had just lost his father, Phil Corr, to cancer two months earlier.

The shark had sunk its teeth into Rory's left calf and both of his feet, nearly taking off a toe, all in one bite.

Clinicians stitched up the wounds and Rory left the hospital the next morning.

In the first few days he could barely stand. Pitt Street Pharmacy lent Rory a wheelchair so he could resume classes at Bishop England High School on Daniel Island.

Last week, Rory stood up using the assistance of a walker at Sullivan's Island Town Council meeting and thanked the Sullivan's Island Fire and Rescue Department members including Fire Chief Anthony Stith for their assistance.

Firefighters stabilized Rory's wounds and brought Louis and the Corr's family dog, Betty, home after the ambulance left.

"You took care of me in a time of stress and terror," Louis said. "You helped me get home and I just want to say, 'Thank you.' "

Lately Rory has been getting round by using a cane. And both teens' parents have restricted evening boarding. The attack took place just before 6:30 p.m.

Both teens plan to keep surfing and swimming at area beaches. Louis said he was hesitant the next time he entered the water.

"It leaves a mark on you," Louis said.

Rory's wounds will leave marks of their own. That's something he's looking forward to for the sake of his story.

"A lot of people say they've been bitten by a shark, but I actually have."

Reach Jessica Johnson at 937-5921 or jjohnson@postandcourier.com.

http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/sep ... tack17434/
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