HUNTING ISLAND, S.C. – A swimmer is recuperating after being bitten by a shark along the South Carolina coast.
The attack left the Pennsylvania man with a ruptured artery.
He’s since undergone surgery and is reportedly in stable condition.
“It makes me really think about if I want to go in the water today or not,” according to Jeff Tintle, another man visiting from Pennsylvania.
Tintle and his wife have vacationed in the Lowcountry of South Carolina for years.
So when he heard a man had been attacked by a shark at Hunting Island Beach on Friday, he was concerned, but not overly surprised.
“Sharks are something that… that’s their habitat, so when you go in the water you’re in their habitat and that’s a risk you have to take, but the probability of getting bit by a shark is pretty remote,” Tintle said.
The encounter happened as the man was swimming in the water off of the south beach, according to first responders.
They say he saw a shark and tried to make it back to shore but before he could, he was bit on his right foot by a different shark.
Beaufort County EMS paramedic Chris Boltin says when his crew got to the scene, lifeguards had bandaged the man’s foot and tried to make him comfortable.
“He was very stable, good mood, good spirits,” Boltin said.
Boltin has spent years working in Beaufort County and says this is his first encounter with a shark bite. But every year he sees issues with marine life that he says can be avoided.
“Be aware there is local wildlife here, stingrays, jellyfish, sharks,” Boltin said. “If you’re out in the water shuffle your feet in the sand, it’ll typically scare off the stingrays and sharks.”
He also recommends checking with lifeguards and park rangers to find out what kind of warnings have been issued on the day you’re heading to the beach.
As for Tintle, he says this won’t stop them from coming back, but they’ll definitely be a little more careful around the later.
“If we’re not familiar with a beach, we make sure we look around and make sure we are comfortable before we go in,” he said.