One man dead, wife in critical condition after North Carolina shark attack
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A shark attacked a married couple wading in the surf off North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Monday, killing the man and leaving his wife in critical condition.
The death came just two days after the first fatal shark attack this year in the United States. A 10-year-old boy was killed Saturday at Virginia Beach, Va.
Dare County Emergency Management officials confirmed the man and woman were attacked around 6 p.m. in Avon, 135 miles south down the coast from Virginia Beach.
”It was beautiful day and there were several people in the water with them,” said dispatcher N.H. Sanderson. ”The park service is interviewing these people now.”
Dr. Seaborn Blair at Avon Medical Center said the man was dead and the woman was in critical condition. The woman had been flown to the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia with substantial wounds to her lower torso. Blair said he believed the couple were from northern Virginia.
Sentara Norfolk spokeswoman Vicky Gray said the woman underwent surgery and was in critical but stable condition.
”Our physicians indicate that they are very optimistic,” Gray said.
The victims’ names were not released. They were believed to be in their 20s.
The Virginia attack occurred Saturday in 4 feet of water about 50 yards from the shore off Sandbridge Beach, said Ed Brazle, division chief for the city’s Emergency Medical Services.
The shark ripped a 17-inch gash in 10-year-old David Peltier’s left leg and did not release him until after the boy’s father hit the shark on the head. The father carried David ashore but he died hours later after losing large amounts of blood from a severed artery.
A police helicopter carrying marine scientists periodically flew over Virginia Beach on Monday, and several police boats were on the water. A shark was spotted 200 yards off a military beach that is closed to the public, but marine scientists did not think it was the shark that attacked David.
Tourists and residents were talking about the shark attack Monday, but weren’t put off enough to cancel hotel reservations or stay away from the beach.
Many hotels were sold out, including the Comfort Inn, where owner Addison Richardson said no guests checked out early or expressed fears about sharks.
”It’s very sad, but there’s no reason to be afraid,” Chaya Brod of Silver Spring, Md., said Monday as she walked along the sand at Virginia Beach while her husband and three of her children played in the surf. ”You have to be out deep in the water in order to be attacked. It doesn’t bother me.”
In Florida, a sailor at the Mayport Naval Station near Jacksonville was bitten on the foot by a shark Sunday, Navy officials said Monday. The bite was apparently not serious, and the man was treated at a hospital and released. His name was not released.
Fifty-two shark attacks have occurred worldwide this year, including three fatal ones, said George Burgess of the International Shark Attack File in Gainesville, Fla. Twenty-nine have been in Florida waters.
Last year, there were 84 shark attacks worldwide, 53 in the United States, he said.
On the Net:
The International Shark Attack File: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/ISAF/ISAF.htm
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