Police responded to a possible shark bite near 8th Avenue North on Thursday.
Chip Wagner, of Myrtle Beach, was in chest-deep water around 4 p.m. when he saw a group of fish jumping over other swimmers in the water. That’s when he felt something clamp onto his right foot.
“I can’t explain it – it was like needles going into my foot,” Wagner said. “I was in shock. I just wanted to get out as fast as I could.”
Wagner said the animal circled and tried to bite him again, but the Myrtle Beach resident ran out of the water before anything else happened. When asked what bit him, Wagner immediately had an answer.
“That was a shark. No doubt,” he said.
I joked about it, and then it happened to me
Jaime Salto, who was visiting Wagner with his family from New York, said he had been swimming with the group for about two hours when he saw a 4-foot shark chasing a group of fish near Wagner.
“He started moving fast and crazy, and when he got out of the water we realized he’d been bitten,” Salto said. “Thank God he didn’t go in any deeper than that.”
Wagner was bandaged by Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue and Myrtle Beach police but declined hospital treatment. He was nursing a swollen right foot Thursday afternoon while trying to shake off the experience.
Salto said the experience was “quite the surprise.”
“What an experience – we haven’t seen him in seven years,” he said. “What a surprise from this beach, though; it’s such a beautiful beach.”
6 number of shark-related incidents in S.C. this year, according to Global Shark Attack File
A 15-year-old boy was treated for shark bites to his hand and leg last month in Garden City. The teen was in chest-deep water around the 1600 block of Waccamaw Drive on Aug. 20 when the small shark bit him on the leg and then the hand, officials said.
He was released from the hospital later that day, according to Margaret Lamb, spokeswoman for Tidelands Health.
According to the Global Shark Attack File, which records interactions between humans and sharks, there had been six shark-related incidents in South Carolina this year before Thursday’s bite.