close
close
A swimmer’s leg was injured by a sea creature, NC officials say

A swimmer’s leg was injured by a sea creature, NC officials say

A swimmer’s leg was injured by a sea creature, NC officials say

The incident occurred around 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, in the Atlantic Ocean near Sunset Beach, about a 180-mile drive southeast of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Street View image from May 2019. © 2024 Google

Something attacked a man swimming off North Carolina, but investigators aren’t ready to call it a shark encounter.

It happened around 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, off Sunset Beach, a resort town about a 180-mile drive southeast of Raleigh.

“The Sunset Beach Police Department was dispatched … for information about a 20-year-old man who suffered a laceration to his leg while in the Atlantic Ocean,” police said in a news release from June 18.

Click to resize

“It appears that the injury was caused by some sort of marine life. It is not known exactly what caused the injury.”

The identity of the victim has not been released.

Sunset Beach Police Chief Ken Klamar says a caller reported the victim was “bitten by a shark while swimming,” The Brunswick Beacon reported. “Of course we get there and we have no way of telling what it was,” he told the Beacon.

One possibility is a stringray attack, Klamar told McClatchy News in an email.

“The victim stated that he stepped on something ‘flat’ and then felt the pain of being injured. This leads us to believe that it was a stingray that injured the victim with its tail, as opposed to a bite of any kind,” he said.

“Also, the tear didn’t look like a bite.”

Several species of sharks are native to North Carolina, including bull sharks, great whites, and tiger sharks. The coastal waters are also known to be home to Portuguese man-of-war, alligators and rattlesnakes.

Sunset Beach is on one of North Carolina’s barrier islands near the South Carolina state line.

This story was originally published 21 June 2024 04:43.

Mark Price is a national reporter for McClatchy News. He joined the newspaper network in 1991 at The Charlotte Observer, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history and a minor in geology.