Facebook Twitter

10-year-old is critical after shark attack

SHARE 10-year-old is critical after shark attack

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A 10-year-old boy was in critical condition Saturday after being attacked by a shark while swimming in the ocean off Sandbridge Beach.

The boy was about 50 feet from shore in 4 feet of water just before 6 p.m. when he was bitten in the right leg, said Ed Brazle, division chief for the city's Emergency Medical Services.

A shark about 8-feet long grabbed him, witnesses said.

The boy's father, who was surfing nearby, tried to pry open the shark's mouth, Brazle said. The boy was released when the father hit the shark on the head.

The man carried the boy back to shore, where witnesses and lifeguards administered first aid until paramedics arrived, Brazle said.

The boy was hospitalized and remained in critical condition Saturday night.

Police did not immediately release the names of the boy or his father.

The father is from Virginia Beach. The son's address is listed as Richmond, Va.

It was the first reported shark attack in the area in the past 30 years, Brazle said.

Sandbridge is a remote coastal community just south of Virginia Beach.

In July, an 8-year-old boy was attacked by a bull shark on Florida's Gulf Coast. Jessie Arbogast's arm was severed and he lost nearly all his blood. The arm was reattached, but Jessie remains in a light coma.

Of the 40 shark attacks worldwide this year, 28 have been in Florida waters, according to the International Shark Attack File, based at the University of Florida. None of the attacks was fatal.

Last year, there were 79 shark attacks worldwide, 51 in the United States.

On the Net: The International Shark Attack File: www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/ISAF/ISAF.htm