08/15/2022 - Karren Sites - South Carolina

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08/15/2022 - Karren Sites - South Carolina

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Woman survives Myrtle Beach shark attack, receives hundreds of stitches; Grandson sees all

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — The victim of a shark attack in Myrtle Beach is recounting the terrifying moments when she came in contact with a shark while enjoying a family vacation.

Karren Sites of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said she was in waist deep water on 75th Avenue North when the shark swam up and bit her on the arm, with her grandson, Brian Sites, just a couple feet away from her.

Before Aug. 15, 8-year-old Brian loved playing in the sand and taking an occasional dip in the ocean.

I’ll sit on the sand but I ain’t going in the water," said Sites after watching his grandmother get bitten by a shark.

The Sites family had been planning their vacation to Myrtle Beach for over a year.

“I just felt something, I guess, bite me and there was a shark on my arm. I was only in waist-deep water. I kept pushing at it to get it off my arm and it did," said Karren Sites.

It was just after noon on their first full day of vacation when their trip would take a shocking turn.

Brian Sites was only 10 feet away from his grandmother when he watched her get bitten by a shark.

I couldn’t even see the shark coming up, but all I saw was the shark jumped up and it didn’t even bite all the way, like I saw the movement of the tail go to the side and then she screamed a little bit and as soon as she touched it , it fell into the water," explained the 8-year-old.

He was only 10 feet away from his grandmother when he watched her get bitten by a shark.

Sites was taken to a local hospital where she underwent surgery and received hundreds of stitches.

“It’s very clearly a shark bite, when you look at the arc of the tooth marks and the damage that was done, my sympathies to the victim that’s a horrendous thing to go through," said Daniel Abel, a professor of Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University.

Abel said sharks are not uncommon this time of year and if you plan to swim in their home, there’s some precautions you should take.

“Not to swim at dawn and dusk, there’s not many people in the water then and some of the sharks are closer and feeding. Don’t swim where there are schools of small fish offshore. Don’t swim near where people are fishing near piers," explained Abel.

Abel said shark bites are extremely rare and while he offers his sympathy to victims of shark encounters, it’s important to understand that sharks are important to our ecosystem.

“It’s very important that we treat our sharks, our ocean and our entire planet with more respect than we do now," said Abel.

Sites said her shark encounter will not stop her from enjoying the beach – she just needs to heal and get the all clear from her doctors.

If you or a loved one was involved in a negative sharky encounter please contact us!!!
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How would you deal with being severely injured by an animal that may have wanted to consume you or just parts of you? A shark attack can be a mindboggling event in a person's life. We know we have been there!
When reading about shark attacks from news sources, use common sense.
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