7 year old W.Va. boy recovering after shark attack


W.Va. boy recovering after shark attack

The Associated Press
Published Thursday, August 18, 2011

LOGAN, W.Va. — A 7-year-old Mingo County boy is recovering after being bitten by a shark.

Media outlets report Rudy Varney was bitten while wading in the Atlantic Ocean at Myrtle Beach, S.C., earlier this week.

An aunt, Carnetta Hopkins, said she and her sister were sitting in chairs next to the water watching Rudy and a group of children on boogie boards in shallow water.

After the boy started screaming, relatives rushed to his side, saw blood coming from his foot, and got him out of the water. Bystanders called 911.

Hopkins said the family was told by authorities the bite was most likely caused by a black-tip shark.

“We were so shocked,” Hopkins said. “It isn’t that common for sharks to come in that close.”

Hopkins said the boy, whose family lives in Varney, underwent surgery to repair a severed tendon and lacerated foot. He was back in his hotel room the following day and is expected to be on crutches with his foot wrapped for two weeks.

Hopkins said the accident happened not far from a lifeguard station but there was no lifeguard on duty.

Gordon Smith, whose company manages the lifeguards in that area of the beach, said the closest lifeguard had left for lunch a few minutes earlier.

The next closest lifeguard saw the commotion, but by the time she made it down the beach and called Smith to respond, the family was off the beach, he said.

Smith found the family waiting on an ambulance. He found out 911 had already been called and he helped administer first aid.

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