8-year-old boy attacked by shark off North Carolina; 4th attack in weeks

An 8-year-old boy was attacked by a shark Wednesday off the coast of North Carolina, marking the fourth such encounter off the state’s coast in the past two weeks.

The boy suffered superficial injuries to his foot and leg at the Surf City beach, but news of the encounter spread quickly in the town that does not have an official lifeguard staff, WRAL.com reported.

Larry Bergman, the town manager, told the station that he'd close the beach if there was "a big hazard."

He told the station that those at the beach swim "kind of at their own risk." He said the town has increased police beach patrols.

The boy was treated at the scene. Afterward, his parents took him to an emergency room to have the wounds cleaned.

"Police and EMS felt like it wasn't a serious bite," Bergman said.

The child had been swimming about five blocks from a fishing pier. Town policy prohibits people from swimming or surfing within 300 feet of a fishing pier, Bergman said.

On June 11, a 13-year-old girl suffered small cuts on her foot from a shark bite at Ocean Isle Beach. Three days later, two separate shark attacks occurred within 90 minutes at Oak Island, N.C. Both victims, ages 12 and 16, had an arm amputated after the attacks. One victim had been swimming about 100 yards from a fishing pier when she was attacked.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.