Eighth Shark Attack Reported in North Carolina over Holiday Weekend
On Saturday, an eighth shark attack took place; the victim was brought into the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for treatment.
The hospital confirmed to PEOPLE that it treated and released an as-of-yet unidentified male victim, who received the bite in Surf City over the Fourth of July weekend. No further details have been made public.
This is the eighth shark attack in North Carolina in less than a month and the second to happen in Surf City. The first occurred on June 24, when an 8-year-old boy sustained “minor injuries” from what appeared to be a shark bite.
Last Wednesday, a 68-year-old man was attacked while swimming about 25 feet from the shore on Ocracoke Island when a 7-foot gray shark pulled him underwater.
Despite sustaining multiple bites to his rib cage, hip, lower leg and both hands, the victim was able to swim to shore for help.
A witness told CNN that he saw a “trail of blood from the water to the sand.”
Shark expert Larry Cahoon tells PEOPLE there are important precautions beachgoers can take to prevent an attack from happening.
“Sharks hear very well. They know you’re swimming, they know where you are and they normally don’t care,” he says. “But the one thing that changes the dynamic is if sharks hear fish struggling when fishers are reeling them in.”
That’s the moment Cahoon says to stay out of the water.
“That’s a dinner bell to them, and they can get very interested in eating,” he says. “That’s when they’re probably more likely to attack a human, either from mistaken identity or from being actually interested in eating something that’s close by.”
Some data show that most attacks occur during dusk or dawn, but Cahoon says it can happen at any time.
“Don’t avoid certain colors, enjoy the ocean and know your surroundings,” he says. “They might follow surfers, but it’s because they’re curious. Sharks can’t see well, and if they attack people close to shore, it’s because they’re confused. By the time they know you’re a person, it’s too late.”
Cahoon adds: “If you’re bleeding, get out of the water or you will quickly become their dinner.”