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UPDATE: 7-foot shark pulls man under water Ocracoke Island in NC, victim airlifted to hospital

LNM Radio

LNM Radio

OCRACOKE ISLAND, N.C. — A 68-year-old man was pulled under the water by a shark Wednesday in the Outer Banks — this time on Ocracoke Island.

The man was swimming outside the first breaker about 25 feet offshore, directly in front of the lifeguard stand, when he encountered a gray shark about 7 feet long, Hyde County officials said. A lifeguard saw the shark pull the man under the water. He suffered several bites to his rib cage, hip, lower leg and both hands.

A witness told CNN he saw a “trail of blood from water to the sand.”

The victim was able to swim out of the water, where a doctor who happened to be in the area was able to stabilize him
The man, who was visiting from Massachusetts, was then airlifted off the island to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. The man was stable and alert, officials said.

Hyde County officials said the attack happened around 12:10 p.m. on Lifeguard Beach at the National Park Service Day Use Area on Ocracoke.

Wednesday’s attack marks the seventh incident on North Carolina beaches in June and July. Last year, there were only four reported in the state through the summer. George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, told FOX8 recently that there are several environmental factors that make North Carolina appear to be a “perfect storm” for shark activity this summer.