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Multiple Shark Attacks On Carolina Beaches

For the second time in as many days, a swimmer off North Carolina's Outer Banks has been attacked by a shark.

The Associated Press says that the latest victim was an 18-year-old man who was left in critical condition after the attack, which occurred Saturday afternoon on a beach near Waves, N.C. It follows an attack on Friday involving a man, 47, swimming in Avon, which is just 15 miles south of Saturday's incident.

Both victims underwent surgery. In the Avon attack, the swimmer was said to be stable condition following hospitalization; the 18-year-old attacked near Waves was also reportedly in critical condition after he was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, according to a spokesman at the medical center.

The AP reports:

"The local beach rescue organization said the Friday attack happened in waist-deep water. They said the victim was trying to approach children that were playing in the water after spotting a school of dolphins nearby.

"Several children have been the victims of shark attacks along North Carolina's coast this month including a 13-year old girl and 16-year old boy who both lost limbs about 90 minutes apart at Oak Island."

And The Charlotte Observer adds:

"In a separate incident Friday, a man was bitten by a shark while swimming in the surf off South Carolina's Hunting Island about 11 a.m. Friday, according to the Lady's Island-St. Helena Fire District. The man noticed a 4-foot shark swimming around him and yelled but was then bitten by a second shark he had not seen, said district spokesman Scott Harris.

"When first responders arrived, the man was on the beach with serious bleeding. He was transported by ambulance to Beaufort Memorial Hospital."

The Beaufort Gazette says that Friday's attack follows one on 9-year-old boy Tuesday, at a secluded beach on St. Helena Island.

National Geographic, in an article published before the latest attacks, said such incidents "are heavily dependent on weather and currents and are much more likely when the water temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit and when strong currents flow north along the coast, bringing bait fish. This year, those conditions appeared in April, and sharks soon followed, coming from Florida and the Gulf of Mexico."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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