The town was recently notified by its beach patrol provider, Island Beach Services, of an incident that took place in the Atlantic Ocean off of Seabrook Island.
At approximately 8:00 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2021, 911 received a call regarding a young female who had been bitten in the water near boardwalk #2. Charleston County EMS and St. Johns Fire District were immediately dispatched, and Island Beach Services was notified shortly thereafter. As the town’s beach patrol had concluded for the day, a beach patrol officer was dispatched to the scene from the contractor’s headquarters on Kiawah Island. The beach patrol officer arrived at the scene and was able to assist with transporting the patient from the beach to the ambulance.
The patient was subsequently transported by EMS to a local emergency room where she was treated for minor injuries consistent with a shark bite.
While the likelihood of being bitten by a shark is very small, there are several steps that beachgoers can take to reduce the odds of an unwelcome shark encounter:
- Swim close to the shore
- Be sure to swim, dive or surf with others
- Avoid swimming at dusk and dawn
- Avoid wearing shiny jewelry in the water
- Avoid areas where there are large schools of fish or dolphins
- Avoid areas where animal, human or fish waste enters the water
- Avoid deep channels or areas with deep drop-offs nearby
- Avoid going into the water if you are bleeding or have open wounds
- Look carefully before jumping into the water from a boat or jetty
- Quickly remove dead or bleeding fish from the water
- Leave the water if schooling fish or other wildlife start to behave erratically or congregate in large numbers
- If you see a shark, leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible and avoid excessive splashing or noise
As we move into the busy summer months, it’s important to remember that the waters of Seabrook Island are home to a variety of wildlife, including Bonnethead, Atlantic sharpnose and Black-tipped sharks; stingrays; and various types of jellyfish. Beachgoers should always exercise caution when entering the water. In the event of a bite, sting or other emergency, dial 911 for medical assistance.
-Submitted by Joseph M. Cronin, Town Administrator