Two swimmers at South Carolina’s popular Myrtle Beach were bitten by sharks Monday but were expected to survive, police said.
Myrtle Beach police said in a statement the first attack occurred near the waters of 82nd Avenue North at about 11:17 a.m. A second swimmer was bitten about 12:35 p.m. off the waters of 75th Avenue North, police said.
The injuries in both instances “were later confirmed to be caused by a shark,” police said. “Our beach patrol works with the Florida Program for Shark Research at the University of Florida to identify marine animal bites, specifically, sharks."
A police spokesperson said Friday the swimmers’ injuries were not life threatening and the victims were a female juvenile and a woman.
One of the victims suffered a serious injury to the forearm and the second a more glancing bite to the leg, police told media outlets.
The attacks happened about a half-mile apart and police said there is no way to know if they are related.
ABC affiliate WPDE reported Karren Sites of Pittsburgh needed hundreds of stitches after she was bitten. She said she was the victim in the second shark attack near 75th Avenue North.
She had been on her first day of vacation with her 8-year-old grandson and in waist-deep water when the attack occurred.
“I just felt something, I guess, bite me and there was a shark on my arm. … I kept pushing at it to get it off my arm and it did,” she said.
Brian Sites said he heard his grandmother scream.
“I couldn’t even see the shark coming up, but all I saw was the shark jumped up and it didn’t even bite all the way,” WPDE reported.
Shark attacks on humans are extremely rare. While millions of people enjoyed the water, just 47 shark bites were reported at beaches in the U.S. in 2021, according to the International Shark Attack File maintained by the University of Florida.
Four shark attacks were reported in South Carolina last year. Florida led the nation with 28, the group said.
Last month, there were multiple shark attacks off Long Island on the same day.
On July 6, A 49-year-old Arizona man was bitten on the wrist and the buttocks in waist-deep water off Seaview Beach around 6 p.m., Suffolk County police said.
Earlier in the day, about 20 miles away, a shark bit a paddleboarder near Smith Point, which, like Seaview, is on Fire Island, officials said.
The person was knocked off a paddleboard about 7:30 a.m. and suffered a 4-inch gash to the leg, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.