On Wednesday a 68-year-old man was bitten by a shark in North Carolina. This is the seventh case in a single year, which has become a record-breaking year when it comes to shark attacks on the state’s coastal waters.
The man identified as Andrew Costello was attacked by a 6-7 foot shark off the coast of Ocracoke Island (North Carolina, Hyde County) at around 12:13 p.m. The victim was bitten on both his hand and on the left side of his lower hip and leg. The man was carried to the hospital by helicopter. He was conscious when he got into the helicopter and was able to describe the attack.
According to a spokeswoman for the Greenville, North Carolina hospital the man was in a fair condition. The director of emergency services in Hyde County, Justin Gibbs, explained that the man got his wounds as he was trying to fight off the animal that pulled the victim under the water.
According to the National Park Service Andrew Costello was swimming together with his son in waist-deep water almost 30 feet offshore. The victim was the former editor-in-chief at the Boston Herald. Fortunately no other swimmers were injured.
This attack is the seventh one which happened off the North Carolina coast ever since June. The highest previous record was of five attacks in 2010. Last Friday another attack occurred in Avon Beach: a 47-year-old man had his right leg and lower back bitten by a shark, but he managed to punch it.
George Burgess from the Florida Program for Shark Research at Florida International University declared that the worrying number of attacks in the area is a truly dangerous situation at present which continues to be threatening.
Most of the shark attacks which occurred this year happened in shallow water. According to shark experts the recent increase in attacks along the coast of Carolina is caused by the fact that a large number of people get in the water. The record-breaking number of attacks can also be related to the incredibly hot June that quickly led to increased ocean temperatures. According to Chuck Bangley from the East Carolina University this made fish migrate north earlier than they would normally do. Bangley said:
“So when you have more marine life in general in the water and then more people heading to the beach than usual, then you’ve got a potential recipe for accidents to happen.”
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