Animal Attack Files Special ReportSpecial Report filed by AAF Correspondent: Jason LinkAnimal Attack Files Special Report
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    Florida teen bitten by shark off North Carolina coast

The Associated Press
Monday, July 17, 2000

HOLDEN BEACH, N.C. -- A 14-year-old surfer from Florida who was beginning a weeklong beach vacation here was attacked by a shark, leaving him with gashes in his foot, a puncture wound in his heel and cuts on his toes.

Sunday's incident was the second shark attack off the coast of North Carolina this summer, and one of several such attacks this year along the nation's beaches.

Tim Poynter, of Amelia Island, Fla., said the 6-foot long gray shark bumped his surfboard first. He started paddling as fast as he could toward the shore.

"Then I saw its mouth coming at my foot," he said, as his foot was being prepared to be stitched at Brunswick Community Hospital in Supply.

"It was scary. It followed me all the way to the beach." About a dozen other vacationers saw the shark from the shore, said Holden Beach Police Chief Jerry Wilson.

Poynter had three 4- to 5-inch cuts on his foot, a puncture wound in his heel and some other cuts on his toes, Wilson said. None of the damage was major.

Wilson said in his 12 years in the town, he can't recall another time when someone was bitten by a shark.

It was the second reported shark attack along North Carolina shores this summer -- the first just a few days before at Pine Island.

A girl vacationing with her family there was attacked by a shark in shallow water on July 7, leaving her with a 9-inch crescent-shaped gash that required more than 300 stitches.

Shark attacks were more common in Florida waters than anywhere else in the world last year, with 25 people suffering bites.

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