Crime & Public Safety

10-year-old boy was 'very likely' bitten by a shark at Hilton Head beach

Boy on Hilton Head beach asks his mom, “Can I get attacked by a shark?” and got bitten

Jei Turrell, 10, recounts at Memorial Medical University Hospital in Savannah, Ga. on Monday, May 14, 2018 about getting bitten by a shark the day before while swimming on Hilton Head Island.
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Jei Turrell, 10, recounts at Memorial Medical University Hospital in Savannah, Ga. on Monday, May 14, 2018 about getting bitten by a shark the day before while swimming on Hilton Head Island.

A 10-year-old boy was the victim of what was "very likely a shark bite" at a Hilton Head Island beach in Palmetto Dunes Sunday afternoon, according to Mike Wagner, operations manager for Hilton Head Island Shore Beach Service Sunday night.

The boy was bitten in the arm while swimming in waist- to chest-deep water in front of the Disney Beach House around 3 p.m., Wagner said.

A patient with a severe laceration to the arm was airlifted to the Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah for medical treatment from Disney Beach House, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue spokeswoman Fire Marshal Joheida Fister said Sunday night. She confirmed the incident occurred in the ocean, but did not know the cause of the injury.

A shark was reportedly in shallow water along the Hilton Head coast on Thursday, which evacuated swimmers to the shore for a short time.

There were eight confirmed shark bites on Hilton Head last summer, which made up the majority of the 10 reported shark attacks in South Carolina in 2017, doubled from the previous year.

More shark attacks have been reported on Hilton Head Island in 2017 than any other year on record. But experts say it's no reason to panic. Here's what you need to know.

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