Updated: Cape Henlopen State Park Beaches Reopened for Swimming - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Cape Henlopen State Park Beaches Reopened for Swimming

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Reported shark bite victim Andrew Vance posted this photo of his bandaged arm on his Facebook page. Reported shark bite victim Andrew Vance posted this photo of his bandaged arm on his Facebook page.
LEWES, Del.- Officials early Tuesday afternoon reopened the beaches of Cape Henlopen State Park a day after a 16-year-old boy reported being bitten by a shark while swimming there.
   
Officials with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said the reported shark bite led them to delay Tuesday's opening of beaches at the park until they were sure the waters were safe. The swimming areas reopened shortly after 1 p.m.
   
The boy, identified as 16-year-old Andrew Vance of Delmar, Del., was injured around 5 p.m. Monday. He was taken to Beebe Medical Center in Lewes where he was treated for gashes to his left forearm.
   
The boy told authorities that he felt something grab his arm while he was standing in about 5 feet of water. The teen then used his right arm to flail at what he described as a shark to get it to release its bite before it swam away.   Vance said he was taken to Beebe Medical Center and received 23 stitches on the wounds.  He is currently at home feeling better, but still in a lot of pain.

After the incident, DNREC officials closed Cape Henlopen's beaches so they could monitor the waters for shark activity. Officials said ground and aerial observation of the Atlantic Ocean found no sharks in the water in the area encompassing the park’s swimming area. They said visibility was clear enough during aerial observation to discern schools of baitfish, including menhaden, sturgeon and cow-nose rays in the water, but no shark activity was seen.

After making the flyover and conferring with marine biologists from DNREC and Delaware State University,  DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara ordered the beaches reopened. He also acted after considering the biologists’ consensus that the bite incurred by the 16-year-old, from what is believed to have been a juvenile sand bar shark, should be treated as an isolated incident.
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