Lifeguard Attacked by Shark While on Duty on Hilton Head Island
The lifeguard, who has not been identified, was reportedly transported to a nearby airport so that he could be airlifted to Savannah for treatment
A lifeguard was bitten by a shark while on duty on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina on Tuesday.
The incident occurred around 11:45 a.m. at the Palmetto Dunes resort, Mike Wagner, operations manager of Shore Beach Services, told WJCL.
Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue responded to the call, and the lifeguard was transported to a nearby airport so that he could be airlifted to Savannah for treatment, the news station reported.
The victim, who has not been identified, suffered a deep cut to his upper body but was stable when transported away from the scene. His injury appears to be non-life threatening, Wagner said.
Shore Beach Services did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
The shark was likely a blacktip, local expert Chip Michalove told WJCL. The species is common to coastal tropical and subtropical waters and is typically found in more shallow waters during this time of year.
This is at least the second reported shark attack off the coast of the Southeastern United States in about a week. On July 27, a Tybee Island surf instructor was attacked by a shark during a lesson.
Atsushi Yamada, the owner of Hot Sushi's Happy Surf Camp, was sitting on his board helping one of his students back to shore when a shark bit him on the leg, he told WBRC.
While he was startled by the encounter, Yamada explained to the news station he did his best to remain calm, as not to worry any of the students. After paddling back to shore, he was able to wrap his leg while he waited for one of the lifeguards to call an ambulance.
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The shark left behind three gashes on his leg, which required a trip to the hospital and several stitches, the outlet reported.
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In a Facebook post Tuesday, Yamada opened up about the incident, writing that he was "super duper thankful" that he was the only one in the water at the time of the attack.
"It [could] have been much, much worse," he added.