The child was swimming roughly five blocks away from a fishing pier. Town policy prohibits swimming or surfing within 300 feet of a fishing pier, the AP noted. His wounds were treated on the beach by police and emergency medical services, and his parents took him to an emergency room for more treatment.
Surf City Town Manager Larry Bergman said that the beach will not be closed, but he has increased beach patrols. The beach does not have an official lifeguard staff, according to the AP, instead local officials patrol the beaches on ATVs.
“It really comes down to a joint decision on public safety officials, including myself,” he told the AP. “Police and EMS feel like it wasn’t a serious bite,” he added.
This is the fourth shark attack off the coast of North Carolina this month. On June 11, a 13-year-old girl suffered minor injuries when a shark bit her while she was swimming at Ocean Isle Beach. A few days later, two more kids were attacked at that same beach. Kiersten Yow, 12, and Hunter Treschel, 16, both lost parts of their left arms from shark bites; Yow also suffered a bite on her left leg.
Surf City is about 60 miles northeast of Ocean Isle Beach. Local officials also did not close Ocean Isle after the recent attacks on Kiersten and Hunter.
North Carolina has only had a total of 52 shark attacks since 1935, and 3 of those were fatal, according to the International Shark Attack File maintained by the Florida Museum of Natural History. But those statistics do not include any attacks since February of this year.
Shark attacks are becoming more common nationwide. Experts believe the increase is related to people swimming in the ocean more often. What makes these most recent attacks in North Carolina unusual is that most of them occurred in shallow waters.
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