OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A girl is recovering after apparently being bitten by a shark off of Ocean Isle Beach this morning.
Emergency crews were called out around 11:30 a.m. Mayor Debbie Smith says the six-year-old girl was in shallow water when it happened.
“Be careful, be aware but this is not something that happens regularly at all,” Smith said.
Smith says the call came from around Fayetteville Street at the east end of Ocean Isle Beach. Rescue workers told her the six-year-old girl had a few puncture wounds on her leg. They also said the girl’s mother reported seeing a shark following a school of fish in the area.
“We’re continuing to monitor the shore today and warning people in that area, but we have not heard of any other reports or any sightings or incidents,” Smith said.
Smith says she can’t remember the last time there was a shark bite, but still warns swimmers to be cautious in the water.
“It’s going to happen when you’re at the beach,” tourist Duran Link said. “You know, you can’t get by it, but you can’t be worried about it every time you go in the water or the beach wouldn’t be any fun.”
Tourists say they plan to be a little more watchful at the beach, but they don’t seem too concerned by what happened.
“I’m not too worried about it,” tourist Susan Lieving said. “I think they’re more scared of me than I am of them.”
“You just hope it doesn’t happen to you,” Link said. “You just enjoy the beach and you know, swim with a lot of people. You know, it’s kind of like the bear theory: You’ve got to be faster than the slowest person with you.”
Mayor Smith says the town has had extra beach patrols all day on the east end of the island. They continue to warn swimmers about what happened.