A charter boat captain had a painful blacktip shark encounter in North Carolina.
Rick Caton and a group of anglers were around 100 yards north off the beach at Hatteras Inlet July 30, chasing sharpnose and blacktip sharks.
Around 4 p.m. one of the anglers hooked a large blacktip shark and fought the shark to the side of the boat.
Caton gaffed the five-foot shark and pulled it into the boat, but as they bought the shark aboard, it grabbed his right calf with a sharp, toothy grip.
“I was pushing its head against the corner so it couldn’t shake,” Caton told The Virginian-Pilot. “He had his mouth all around my leg, and that probably was good because he would have taken a big chunk out of me.”
A crew member grabbed a knife and stabbed the shark until it released its grip.
For a pain-filled act two, Captain Caton sat down, asked for a container of bleach and poured it on his wound.
“Not sure what was worse, the bite or the Clorox,” he said. “But those things have all kinds of crap in their mouths and I wasn’t taking no chance.”
The group headed back to shore, but found the local clinic had closed at 4:30 p.m. Caton called a nurse he knew, who came and wrapped the roughly seven inch bite wound.
“It’s pretty sore today. I’ve got to get it looked at because the nurse who helped me out said she thinks there might still be some teeth in the bone,” Caton said.
According to the 2006 stock assessment SouthEast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR), the population status of blacktip sharks in the Atlantic is unknown and the fishing rate has been kept at recommended levels.
As of Aug. 1, 2019, there have been a total of 53 shark attack bites (50 with injury, 12 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2019.
All locations have been marked on the 2019 Shark Attack Map.
Five fatal**; 28 were reported in the U.S. (including one fatal), with 12 occurring in Florida (3 provoked), 7 in Hawaii (2 no injury, 1 provoked,1 fatal) and 2 in California (1 no injury). Ten have been reported in Australia, 0 fatal. Four unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.
*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**One possible scavenge