Delaware teen bitten by shark — but beach cleared for reopening

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A Delaware boy, 16, was bit by a shark in waters off Cape Henlopen State Park earlier this week, but state officials decreed just a day later that the beach was safe to reopen and the coastline clear of danger.

“We saw plenty of dolphins, cow-nose rays, sturgeon and menhaden, but no sharks,” said Collin O'Mara, secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the local Wilmington, Del., News Journal reported.


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Mr. O'Mara and state fisheries biologist Scott Newlin concluded the waters were clear after flying a state police helicopter above the swimming area and searching for signs of sharks. That, combined with a bevy of life guards watching from the beach, prompted officials to reopen the beach to swimmers.

“We have taken every precaution,” Mr. O'Mara said, in the News Journal. “All evidence points to it being a completely isolated event.”

Sharks are common in Delaware waters during the spring, but bites aren’t so common. Mr. Newlin said the bites to the teen — who was injured Monday while standing in about 5 feet of water — seemed to stem from a juvenile sand bar shark.

The teen’s arm was injured in the attack, but he was able to swat the shark away and escape without further harm.

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