FIRST ON 3: OIB first responders not sure what bit boy in water


OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Another scare this morning in Brunswick County, as emergency workers responded to an apparent animal bite in the water off the 100 block of West 1st Street in Ocean Isle Beach.

“I heard the word ‘shark” and ‘Call 911,’ so I got out my phone and called 911,” witness Holly Kindig said.

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It’s not quite the scene that many visitors expected Tuesday at Ocean Isle Beach.

“I just saw the little boy running out of the water screaming,” Kindig said. “At first you couldn’t tell whether it was a frantic scream or playing, but I saw his mom run down to him.”

Witnesses speculated, because of the size of the wound, that it was a bluefish, stingray or small shark. Mayor Debbie Smith also said first responders believed it was a bluefish bite.

“You could see where there had been blood, where they had cleaned up, but definitely a gash of at least a good 6 to 8 inches,” witness Domingo Herraiz said.

Whether it was a shark, a ray or a bluefish that caused the deep puncture wound, families at Ocean Isle Beach said they planned to spend the rest of the day out of the water.

“It’s kind of hard to say, ‘Sure go on back in there,'” witness Chase Bryan said. “I’m sure that the chances of somebody else getting attacked again are slim to none, but they’re not to excited about getting back in there.”

Witnesses also say that when they rushed down around the boy they heard him say he felt something the size of his arm swim between his legs before he was bit.

The scare has many beach visitors wary.

“It does make us a little more hesitant,” Kindig said. “I’m sure we’ll go in, at least somewhat, but be cautious. He was in shallow water when it happened.”

Officials have not released the name of the victim.

This is the second bite at Ocean Isle Beach this summer. Last month a shark bit a six-year-old girl on the leg.

This is not the first call of its kind at Ocean Isle Beach this summer. Last month a shark bit a six-year-old Ohio girl who was on vacation with her family.

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