when Jack Musick heard that a teen had actually been bitten while surfing turn off Sandbridge critical month, he instantly got to work trying to pin under the culprit.

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more than likely not, concluded Musick, a professor emeritus at the Virginia institute of marine Science that investigates shark attacks. They"re unusual in Virginia.


Bingo. According to Musick"s report, i beg your pardon he"s it is registered to the international Shark Attack file in Florida, the attacker was most likely a little blacktip or crackhead shark, maybe even two.


Those types often visit Virginia"s waters in September, that wrote. They"re also energetic feeders and have to be implicated in similar nonfatal attacks here, in Florida and elsewhere. The circumstances additionally fit, Musick said.


Caleb Kauchak, 18, was wading in chest-deep water beside his surfboard the afternoon of Sept. 24 as soon as something latched onto his ankle, shook him and let go. The jumped onto his board and felt one more bite, ~ above his knee.


He required 51 stitches. While his injuries have actually healed practically completely, the scars still draw lots the attention, Kauchak said.


The assault - in murky water during the time the day when sharks start to feeding - to be most most likely a instance of failure identity, Musick said. The shark more than likely thought Kauchak"s leg to be a fish, and let go once it establish its mistake, he said.


"The shark to be too tiny for the to have been a predatory attack," Musick said. "Also, if that had actually been a huge shark, the damage would"ve been a many greater. It probably would have removed a body or something."


Shark assaults are rarely in Virginia. In 2001, however, a shark fatally struck a 10-year-old Richmond boy as he surfed v his father off Sandbridge, not far from where Kauchak to be bitten. A 9-1/2 foot bull shark is believed responsible.


Blacktip sharks can acquire up come 5 feet 9 inches long and also tend to live in shallow coastal waters from brand-new England come Florida, according to the Virginia academy of naval Science website. Spinners can flourish up come 9 feet 10 inches long and also visit southern Virginia"s waters top top occasion.

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Those two varieties have been connected to 58 attacks on humans in the previous 50 years, according to approximates by the international Shark strike File, i m sorry tracks all shark bites worldwide. One, in 1973 involving a teen being bitten in the elbow while snorkeling and also spearing crabs south of Sandbridge, was similar to the strike on Kauchak, Musick said.


With just three or 4 shark assaults in Virginia in the past 40 years, and millions of human being in the water right here over the years, Musick stated the "probability that a shark encounter is miniscule."