Sand Bar Shark Bite In Lewes Leaves Teen With 23 Stitches - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Sand Bar Shark Bite In Lewes Leaves Teen With 23 Stitches

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*This story contains images that might be considered graphic for some of our readers.

LEWES, Del. – It's being called an "isolated incident" and first shark bite in at least 20 years at Cape Henlopen State Park, but it still has many wary about the water.

"I would have never thought in a million years a shark would have come and bit my arm," says Andrew Vance, 16, of Delmar.

Vance was reportedly swimming with his sister just before 5:00 PM on Monday, in an area to the left of the boardwalk on the main beach, in about five feet of water. He says all of the sudden he felt something clamp onto his arm.

"I punched it in the head and it didn't let go, so I stuck my hand in its mouth and tried to pull its mouth apart," says Vance. "I shredded up my right hand trying to get him off of me, then he got off and swam away, and the scariest thing was I thought he was going to come back and bite me again."

Chief Wayne Kline with the State Park Enforcement says lifeguards were on duty at the time, but had no way of seeing the danger in the water. He says officials feel the bite was reactionary and not an attack, and while the animals are common for the area, normally they are scared off by swimmers.

"I didn't even know there were sharks around here, I have never seen one, I've only seen dolphins here," says Laura Stoltzfus, who was visiting the beach on Tuesday.

"I just didn't think sharks came all the way up north to Delaware," says Kristi Anderson, a vacationer.

DNREC officials say after ground and aerial checks on Tuesday morning, there were reportedly no sharks found in the beach water. The beach officially reopened after 1:00 PM on Tuesday.

For some, the news was comforting enough for them to get back in the water.

"I really like going in the water so I don't think it would do that much," says Liz Crouse, who was visiting the beach on Tuesday.

"It won't keep me out, when something like that happens to you there's nothing you can do to control it," says Joel Anderson.

However for others, including Vance, who had to get 23 stitches, it may be enough to take a break from the ocean.

"I'm sure sooner or later I'll get back in, but for now, I don't have any plans or want to get back in the water," says Vance.

"I am deathly afraid of sharks so I don't go into the water anyways, but it just kind of affirms my shark fear," says Anderson.

Vance says the initial pain was extreme, but he was released from the hospital Monday night, and traveled to Pennsylvania on Tuesday to spend time with family.

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