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People surround and attend to a 68-year-old man that was bit by a shark in waist-deep water off Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. Laura I. Hefty via AP
shark attack

68-year-old man attacked by shark in waist-deep water

Swimmers went back into the water within hours.

A SHARK BIT a 68-year-old man several times in waist-deep water off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, officials said, the seventh in a record-breaking year of shark attacks for the state’s coastal waters.

A spokeswoman at the Greenville, North Carolina, hospital where he was taken said last night that the man, Andrew Costello, was in fair condition.

He suffered wounds to his ribcage, lower leg, hip and both hands as he tried to fight off the animal, said Justin Gibbs, the director of emergency services in Hyde County.

The attack happened around noon on a beach on Ocracoke Island, right in front of a lifeguard tower, he said.

Pulled under

“He was pulled under by the shark,” said Gibbs, who said witnesses reported the animal was about seven feet long.

The man was swimming in waist-deep water with his adult son about 30 feet offshore, the National Park Service said in a news release. There were no other swimmers injured.

Costello was the former editor-in-chief of the Boston Herald, the newspaper reported early today.

Costello’s niece, Freya Solray, told the newspaper Costello’s wife and sons were with him at the hospital, where he was “doing well.”

Costello is the seventh person attacked along the North Carolina coast in three weeks, the most in one year in the 80 years for which the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File keeps records.

The highest previous total was five attacks in 2010. Three of the 52 confirmed shark attacks between 1935 and 2014 were deadly, according to the database.

Shallow water

Most of this year’s attacks happened in shallow water. The injuries ranged widely: An 8-year-old boy had only minor wounds to his heel and ankle, while at least two others have required amputation.

Another person attacked Saturday had initially been considered at critical risk of dying.

Swimmers were back in the water within a couple of hours, witness Laura Hefty said.

“Nobody seems to be that scared,” she said.

Read: After a FOURTH shark attack this month, some Americans are freaking out

Read: Sixth shark attack in two weeks leaves teen in critical condition

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Author
Associated Foreign Press
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