Shark bite leaves N. Carolina teen with 40 puncture wounds

CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) — A teenage boy received 40 puncture wounds to a leg after being bitten by a shark off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Nick Arthur, 16, of Oak Ridge was bitten on the left leg Thursday, just yards off the beach on the Outer Banks, WTVD-TV reported Monday. Arthur was jumping over waves on a sandbar when he was bit.

“I like tried lifting my leg up out of the water and saw, ‘Oh my god it’s a five-foot shark attached to my leg,’” Arthur said. “The pressure was so intense. I was trying to pry its mouth open.”

The shark let go of Arthur after his father hit it on the snout. Arthur was taken to a hospital and received several stitches, but had no serious injuries.

The Florida Museum of Natural History recorded 41 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in the U.S. last year. The cases represented 64% of the worldwide total.

WTVD reported that the number of shark bites is down this year, citing experts who believe that's because fewer people have been in the water as a result of stay-at-home orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.