No. 7: Shark Attacks Swimmer Off North Carolina

This is the most for the state in at least 80 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2015 5:07 PM CDT
No. 7: Shark Attacks Swimmer Off North Carolina
People surround and attend to a 68-year-old man that was bit by a shark in waist-deep water off Ocracoke Island, N.C., Wednesday.   (Laura I. Hefty via AP)

Beaches along the North Carolina coast are sure to be jam-packed this holiday weekend, which makes this bit of news especially troubling: A shark attacked a 67-year-old man off Okracoke Island in the Outer Banks today, making him the state's seventh victim this season, reports Reuters. In the 80 years of records on such things, the previous season's high was five, reports AP. And the total doesn't count two other attacks in South Carolina. In today's attack, the victim survived after a shark estimated to be 7 feet long dragged him under in waist-deep water and bit him repeatedly. He was able to swim to shore, reports WSOC, though there was no immediate word on his condition.

Experts are floating several theories on what might be going on. One is that an especially hot June has caused fish to begin migrating north earlier than usual. Combine that with a general increase in beach attendance. "So when you have more marine life in general in the water and then more people heading to the beach than usual, then you've got a potential recipe for accidents to happen," says a shark researcher at East Carolina University. Also not helping: shark fishing off the coast. (More sharks stories.)

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