Two 12-year-old girls were attacked by a shark on a South Carolina beach Saturday, officials said. The children were in a raft off in the waters of DeBordieu Beach in Georgetown County when a shark jumped into the raft and began thrashing around inside.
One of the girls had to be transported to Georgetown Memorial Hospital. She was bitten on her thigh and remained in stable condition Monday, Midway Fire Chief Jeff Pifer told WRAL-TV. The other child did not require hospitalization.
It remained unclear exactly what type of shark bit the girls, though officials said it was around three feet long. The most prevalent species of shark in the area is the Atlantic Sharpnose, a small shark that tops out at about that length, South Carolina Natural Resources marine biologist Bryan Frazier told Myrtle Beach Online.
"[The Atlantic Sharpnose] has teeth and it can bite you," said Frazier. "But if it does, it's not going to to be bad — it might be a couple of stitches."
Frazier also noted that the species experts think are responsible for most attacks in South Carolina are Blacktip sharks.
"These guys do feed in the surf," said Frazier. "They're actively feeding on menhaden and mullet, schools of bait that are often found off the front beaches."
There have been about 92 shark attacks since 1937, according to the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida. A 14-year-old was bitten earlier in July at South Carolina's Hilton Head Island. The teen told local reporters she was swimming with her family when she felt something tugging on her leg and quickly realized she had been bitten twice.
"I thought it was my brother messing with me when I felt something grab at my leg," Reagan Rednour said. "I felt a terrible sting and didn't know it was."
Experts said the shark that bit Rednour was likely a four- to five-foot bull shark. She was taken to a nearby hospital and received stitches for multiple wounds in her thigh and calf.