Shark Attack Shocks Beach Goers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Shark Attack Shocks Beach Goers

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LEWES, Del. - Hundreds flocked to the beach at the Cape Henlopen State Park Tuesday morning, and were told that they could not swim because of a shark attack. Just before 5:00 p.m. Monday evening, a 16 year old boy was bitten by a shark, and rushed to the hospital. 

A large red flag sat on the beach with a cross going through the image of a swimmer. This was because until approximately 1:30pm, the ocean was off limits to visitors. For hours DNREC had their eyes on the seas, watching to see if there was any unusual activity. 

"About 4:45 yesterday afternoon, a 16 year old was in the water swimming," Chief Wayne Kline from DNREC explained. "He was in about five feet of water. He was just skimming his hand along the water and he looked down and felt something on his left arm. And what he described as a shark was on his left arm. He took his right hand to smack it and push it away. And the fish swam away." 

The victim, 16-year old Andrew Vance of Delmar suffered an injury to his left forearm, leading to 23 stitches. He was brought to the Beebe Medical Center, but was released with little permanent injury. 

Kline said a shark attack in Delaware is very unusual. 

"We haven't had a shark bite at least in the state park history..." he said. "I don't recall ever having a documented shark bite in the Delaware waters here."

Hundreds of feet above the water, marine biologist Scott Newlin rode in a helicopter looking down for sharks. He said the odds of this happening again soon are very unlikely. 


"I think you would have more of a chance of getting hit by lightning then getting bit by a shark right now," he said.

WBOC showed Newlin a photo of the shark bite. He said the picture indicated that the teenager was indeed bitten by a shark. 

"I believe it was a juvenile Sandbar shark," he said. "It didn't look like it was a large one. Right now the Sandbar shark is common in our waters. And they're having their young. It looks like it was a younger shark that did this."

Meanwhile on the sand, Norman Parks was building a sand castle with his son Tuesday morning. He said the incident is making him think twice before letting his children in the ocean. 

"I think any parent would be a little worried about that," he said. "That's common. So I'm gonna be right there with them the whole time."

Others like Pio Gazzeli sum up their feelings with one word.

"Surprised," he said. "Very surprididn'tdidin't think that was possible here."

Shark attacks are common in states like Florida and Massachusetts where the sharks are more aggressive. Newlin said that the sharks in Delaware tend to be more calm, which makes incidents like these rare.

Suzanne Blasko was coming to the beach Monday evening just as the teenager was being rushed to the hospital. 

"The boy was holding his hand up in the air," she said. "It was wrapped in bandages here and the hand was all wrapped. And you could see that it was all bloodied."

She described the boys demeanor. 

"He looked scared," she said. "But he was alert and talkative. And we saw some of his family members who I guess were down here. And they were all shaken up and getting ready to follow him to the hospital." 

She said the incident is going to make her more hesitant to go in the water. 

"Going to be careful going too far into the water," she said. "It's a good thing that he'll recover." 

WBOC caught up with mother of three Kelly Zitzer, as she was entering the beach area with her family. She said she's concerned by the shark biting.

"It definitely gives me anxiety now that I'm a parent," she said. "I have three little boys who are out in the water." 
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