Crime & Public Safety

Shark expert investigates possible second shark bite on Hilton Head

Scared of sharks? Here are 7 tips to reduce your chances of getting bit

The chances of getting bit by a shark while swimming in the ocean are very, very slim. Just in case, and to hopefully ease your mind, here are a few tips from the International Shark Attack File to reduce your chances of getting bit.
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The chances of getting bit by a shark while swimming in the ocean are very, very slim. Just in case, and to hopefully ease your mind, here are a few tips from the International Shark Attack File to reduce your chances of getting bit.

Authorities at the University of Florida in charge of documenting all world-wide shark bites are investigating two possible incidents on Hilton Head in June.

“It appears there were two incidents around Hilton Head within the last two weeks, possibly on the same week,” George Burgess, the director of the International Shark Attack File, a long-running database of shark attacks at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said.

On June 18, a teenager from Ohio said she was bitten by a shark while on a boogie board on a Hilton Head Island beach during her first day of vacation. Burgess confirmed the wounds were consistent with a shark bite, likely a blacktip or spinner shark, because of the size of the teeth.

The victim, Reagan Readnour, 14, is now walking with a slight limp with lacerations that should heal in the next few months.

An Indiana news station reported Thursday that an Indiana teenager was also recently attacked by a shark on Hilton Head.

“The Indiana teenager’s wounds didn’t look nearly as bad (as the Ohio teenager’s), Burgess said. “From the pictures, it looked like she was bit in the foot by a smaller shark. Her wounds look around two weeks old, so it could have happened on the same week.”

WEHT-WTVW news reports that Oliva Wallhauser is walking without crutches and will make a full recovery.

Mike Wagner, operations manager at Hilton Head Island Beach Shore Services, was not aware of the second incident.

Hilton Head Hospital spokeswoman Lydia Hill previously said the hospital had not seen any shark bites this summer, but later confirmed they had treated a patient with a shark bite on June 18.

Wagner stressed that shark bites on Hilton Head Island are a rare occurrence and on average shore services see less than one a year. The last reported incident was in 2015.

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