Boy bitten while swimming at Herring Point

June 4, 2020

A 12-year-old boy was bitten June 4 while swimming at Herring Point in Cape Henlopen State Park. 

The boy had puncture wounds to one of his legs and was taken by ambulance to Beebe Healthcare following the attack that happened before 1 p.m., said the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

A Sussex County EMS report shared with the Cape Gazette states the boy was conscious and breathing, and he had serious bleeding from the bites. While initially reported as a shark bite, officials said, the appearance of the bite mark is being reviewed by state and fisheries experts to determine if it was from a shark or potential other creature.

DNREC officials closed Herring Point to surfing and swimming after the attack. Beachgoers are also restricted to knee-deep waters around the Cape Henlopen bathhouse. DNREC Natural Resources Police park rangers and lifeguards are patrolling the beach area to warn surfers and other beachgoers to stay in shallow water.

Officials said shark attacks are rare. The only known shark bite at a Delaware State Park beach occurred in June 2014. 

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