Sharks bite two more people in South Carolina, Florida

By Barbara Liston

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - A teenage boy in South Carolina and a young girl in Florida were recovering on Friday from shark bites suffered this week in the Atlantic Ocean, the latest in a series of attacks around the world this year.

The 15-year-old boy was surfing in waist-deep water with his family in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, on Thursday when a shark bit him on the left ankle and calf, and then again on his left hand as he tried to defend himself, authorities said.

The boy, whose name was not released because of his age, suffered puncture wounds and some shredding of his skin, said Capt. Jerry Howerton of the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District. Murrells Inlet is 13 miles south of Myrtle Beach.

Howerton said the teenager managed to get himself ashore where bystanders stopped the bleeding before he was taken to a hospital for stitches.

On Wednesday in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, a 10-year-old girl was bitten in knee-deep water by a shark estimated at three-feet long, said Sgt. Tommy Crumley of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.

The girl suffered gashes on both sides of her knee and was hospitalized for stitches and monitoring.

Crumley said it was the second shark bite at Jacksonville Beach this year.

In June, two youths visiting North Carolina resort towns were badly injured in separate attacks less than an hour apart, according to George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File database maintained at the University of Florida.

One lost an arm and the other lost part of an arm, authorities said.

A recent spate of shark attacks in New South Wales, Australia, is keeping some surfers out of the water on popular beaches. Eleven shark attacks have been reported in the state this year, compared with only three in both 2014 and 2013, according to the Australian Shark Attack database.

Worldwide, there have been 57 unprovoked shark attacks in 2015, putting the year on track for about the same number as in each of the previous two years. In 2014, 72 were recorded and 75 in 2013, according to Burgess.

In the United States, 39 attacks have been reported so far in 2015, compared with 52 in all of 2014, according to the statistics.

The six worldwide deaths so far are already double the number in 2014. There has been one U.S. death in 2015 while none were recorded in 2014.

(Editing By Frank McGurty and Lisa Lambert)