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Jul 27, 2010 12:20 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Teen survives shark attack

A 16-year-old tourist is recovering after a shark bite on South Carolina's Isle of Palms.

Alex Stamm and his best friend's family are visiting from Indiana. They arrived on Isle of Palms Sunday and immediately went to the beach.

Alex said he was in the water waist deep when he felt something biting his leg, "We were tossing the football around, it didn't bump into me, it just bit me straight on. I yelled, my first reaction, I tried to hit it with my right hand, and I saw the tale swim away. I just told my friend Christen to get out of the water and we all ran out."

Alex says the shark was about four feet long. He spent more than six hours at the hospital, and has more than 40 stitches on his right leg.

He's currently taking antibiotics and pain relievers, but remains in good spirits.

Nancy Gatmaitan, is a registered nurse and the mother of Alex's best friend. She says two other doctors on the beach rushed to help Alex as well.

 

The Department of Natural Resources says on average, there are four to five shark bites a year along South Carolina's shores.

To avoid any problems, experts say you should not wear flashy jewelry in the water, especially around your ankles, and it's best to avoid areas where people are fishing.

 

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