MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Two swimmers survived being bitten by sharks this week at South Carolina’s most popular beach.
Both people were attacked in Myrtle Beach on Monday with one suffering a serious injury to the forearm and the second a more glancing bite to the leg, police told media outlets.
The attacks happened in the ocean about a half-mile (1 kilometer) apart and police said there is no way to know if they are related.
Karen Sites of Pittsburgh needed hundreds of stitches. She told WPDE-TV she was in waist-deep water on her first day of vacation with her 8-year-old grandson when she was bitten on the arm.
“I just felt something, I guess, bite me and there was a shark on my arm,” Sites said.
Brian Sites said he heard his grandmother scream. “I couldn’t even see the shark coming up, but all I saw was the shark jumped up and it didn’t even bite all the way,” he said.
Shark attacks on humans are extremely rare. While millions of people enjoyed the water, just 47 shark bites were reported at beaches in the U.S. in 2021, according to the International Shark Attack File maintained by the University of Florida.
Four shark attacks were reported in South Carolina last year. Florida led the nation with 28, the group said.
Precautions swimmers can take include avoiding going in the ocean around dawn or dusk when sharks come closer to the shore to feed, leaving the water when schools of fish can be seen near the surf and staying away from places where people may be using bait to fish, experts said.
After seeing his grandmother bitten, Brian Sites said he is altering his vacation plans.
“I’ll sit on the sand, but I ain’t going in the water,” he said.