STONE HARBOR — A young surfer was injured when a shark bit her Sunday afternoon, borough officials said.
Rescue workers were sent by a 911 caller to the 109th Street beach after the attack happened, officials said Monday in a news release.
The girl was removed from the water and taken off the beach by an emergency ATV, borough firefighters said.
Officials said the 15-year-old Pennsylvania girl’s injuries were not life threatening.
After being tended to on the beach by borough fire and rescue personnel, the surfer was taken to Cape Regional Medical Center, where she received six stitches in her left leg, officials said.
The New Jersey Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office assessed the injuries, deeming them “consistent with those typically associated with a shark of unknown size and type,” the release states.
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Borough officials said they’re working with local marine experts and other professionals to determine the wounds’ cause.
The borough is not planning to restrict beach activity as a result of the shark attack. However, officials are asking the public to be cautious of their surroundings when in the water.
“Stone Harbor remains a beloved and popular destination for beachgoers from near and far,” Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour said in a statement. “The local police and fire departments are fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of both residents and tourists. They are taking appropriate measures to thoroughly assess the situation and provide necessary updates to the public.”
The Stone Harbor incident was not the only one to involve a shark this past week along the East Coast. Two fishermen were bitten by sharks in separate incidents less than 36 hours apart in the Florida Keys, officials said.
On Thursday, a 20-year-old Miami-Dade County man was bitten in the leg while spearfishing with two other people off Marathon, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
And on Saturday afternoon, a shark bit a 35-year-old fisherman on the foot after he had reeled it in while fishing off a dock in Summerland Key. The shark was on the dock when it bit the man, the release said.
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Shark attacks on humans are historically rare, said Stockton University marine science professor Steve Nagiewicz. Typically, fewer than a dozen attacks each year become fatal, he said.
“You have a better chance of dying in a bowling alley from a heart attack than getting bit by a shark,” Nagiewicz said.
The first documented shark attack at the Jersey Shore was recorded in the early 1900s, Nagiewicz said. Sunday’s attack in the borough was the first for the Jersey Shore this year, he believes.
While shark attacks on humans are rare, Sunday’s occurrence should serve as a reminder, he said.
“You are going to be in their water. You’re not going to be their food, but accidents happen,” Nagiewicz said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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