A teenage boy is recovering in the hospital after he was attacked by a shark about 50 yards off the Texas shore at Surfside Beach Monday afternoon.
The 15-year-old was swimming with a group of his friends from church when he emergency workers say he said he felt a shark bite his leg.
"He literally reached down and pulled the shark off of him, pulled the shark off of his leg, which is how he got the lacerations on his hand," explained Surfside Police Officer and EMT Zuandra Monnat.
Nurse Paula Givens was on the beach with friends when she saw the boy pulling himself up on the shore.
"He was paddling in and everybody just started rushing toward him and he was like screaming and crying," said Givens.
She helped wrap the boy's calf and hand to stop the bleeding. "He was just 'am I gonna be OK? Am I gonna be OK?' And I just kept saying to him 'yeah, you're gonna be good.'"
Witnesses said the shark that bit the teenager was a black-tip shark. They typically use shallow inshore waters as nurseries and to feed in groups.
Kathy Hayes and her family say they saw 2 to 3 sharks from the shore shortly after the attack. "We've heard that there are a lot of shark out here," said Evans Trammell.
Trammell was shark fishing with friends about 50 yards from where the boy was attacked. "We take a kayak out and drop bait in a little deeper water," he explained.
Surfside Beach Police said shark bites and attacks here are rare. "It's been over 25 years since we've had a shark attack here, or a serious shark bite here," said Surfside Beach Police Assistant Chief Gregg Bisso.
According to the University of Florida, there are 19 shark attacks on record in the Gulf of Mexico since 1911 near Galveston, Matagorda and Brazoria.
Adding today's bite, there have been a total of 38 anywhere along the Texas Gulf Coast. Compare that to Florida's 663 attacks in the same time period.
Both the nurse and the EMT we spoke with said they believe the teenager will need stitches, but he will be fine.