Ohio teen bitten by shark in South Carolina

A vacationing teenager from Ohio was bitten on June 18 by a shark off Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Reagan Readnour was boogie boarding with several family members on Burkes Beach when she was bitten by a shark.

The 14-year-old was in waist-deep water with her feet dangling behind her as she played on her boogie board around noon.  She thought her brother was playing a joke on her by grabbing her leg, but quickly realized it was something else.

2017 shark attack bite Hilton Head Island South Carolina June 18_Reagan Readnour WCMH Ohio_4
Photo: Reagan Readnour via WCMH

“I felt a terrible sting and didn’t know what it was,” she told the Island Packet newspaper. The shark had grabbed her left thigh and then her left calf.

“My brother was laughing at me . . . and then he saw blood and realized it was serious,” she said. “His face turned white, then I started screaming and they all started helping me and calming me down. I think I kind of blacked out at that point.”

Her family members were able to pull her out of the water and lifeguards believed the wound was from a stingray. However, when doctors saw the wounds to her left thigh and calf, they determined a shark (most likely a blacktip or spinner shark) had bit the teenager.

The Olentangy Orange High School freshman hopes the wounds will be healed by fall so she can continue to play field hockey.

Another teenager was bitten in June while vacationing in Hilton Head.

Indiana teenager Oliva Wallhauser was bitten on the right foot while swimming in murky water when a wave lifted her feet off the bottom. That’s when a shark grabbed her foot.

Wallhauser was able to kick the shark off, and made her way back into the beach. She had several lacerations to her foot.

Shark bites on Hilton Head are rare; the last confirmed incident was in 2015.

There have been a total of 56* shark attack bites in 2017, 5 of which were fatal*; 26 were reported in the US, with 18 occurring in Florida** and one in Hawaii. Nine occurred in Australia, one of which was fatal and one with no injury.  There are 3 unconfirmed bites worldwide not included in the total count.

All locations have been marked on the 2017 Shark Attack Bites Tracking map.

*Two may be scavenge    **One report may have been outside of Florida waters.


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