12-year-old bitten by bull shark in Bimini

bitten by bull shark in Bimini

A 12-year-was bitten by a bull shark in Bimini, Bahamas April 5.

bitten by bull shark in Bimini
Photo: 7News

Shane McConnell and family were visiting family in Florida when they decided to travel to the Bahamas.

Shane, whose family is from Scotland, was walking along the Bimini Big Game Pier where fisherman were tossing out fish parts.

Unfortunately, Shane lost his balance and fell into the water where an estimated 6-foot bull shark took interest.

“I think, when I was swimming, it sort of bit me while I was pulling my legs in, and it came out and then swam away,” he told 7News.

“I didn’t really realize I got bitten by a shark until I actually managed to climb up the ladder, and I saw my shoes, and they had a big hole in them, torn on the sides,” he said.

The 12-year-old was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

“I didn’t actually get to see what happened until we got to the hospital, and then they took my shoes off.

“I got two puncture wounds in my left foot, and they were quite deep, and it’s bled a bit through the bandages,” he said, “and on [my left foot], I got a scrape.”

Doctors were able to sew up his foot using around 50 stitches to sew up his right foot and 6 on the left.

According to his father, the young man took the event like a champ.

“It was two and a half hours of putting stitches in. Never flinched, never flinched once,” said James McConnell. “He was so brave. He just kept on chatting and kept on smiling. He was reassuring everybody else; he was saying, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to be fine.’”

McConnell kept in high spirits during the whole ordeal.

“I’ve always liked marine life, and I’ve always wanted to be a marine biologist, and this is just a good start,” he said before adding, “I mean, a bad start.”

Both of McConnell’s feet were bandaged on Saturday, and should be healed enough to walk on in about a week.

This is the first shark bite reported in the Bahamas this year.

Last year the islands had a total of eight nonfatal interactions.

The first reported occurred on Bimini when Dutch celebrity biologist Freek Vonk was bitten on the right arm.

The 34-year-old biologist was swimming with sharks at the time and said the shark made a mistake and bit his arm.

Two other people suffered minor bites while swimming with nurse sharks.

Adventure blogger Mareen was bitten on March 1 at Compass Cay as was Sarah Illig, although that bite was captured on film December 8.

On March 2, spearfisherman George Keywood was bitten on the calf and hand by a lemon shark off Great Exuma. The 58-year-old’s hand suffered the worst damage as nerves were damaged.

Snorkeler Tiffany Johnson lost her arm to a suspected tiger shark June 2. The 32-year-old was in the water waiting on her husband when a shark approached off Nassau.

“I felt like a tug or bump on my arm. I honestly thought I had bumped into something, that’s what it felt like,” the mother of three recalled from her hospital bed. “I causally looked to the right and I was face to face with a shark, and he had my arm in his mouth.”

There have been a total of 15 shark attack bites* in 2018, 0 of which were fatal**; 1 were reported in the US, with 0 occurring in Florida and 1 in Hawaii. Seven have been reported in Australia, none of which was fatal. One unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count.

A full list of 2017s shark bites can be found on the 2018 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map.

*Four with no injury
**one possible scavenge

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