Nine-year-old describes how shark attacked him - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Nine-year-old describes how shark attacked him

ISLE OF PALMS, SC (AP/NBC) - The waters off a seven mile stretch of a South Carolina beach have reopened after reports of two possible shark bites.

Administrator Linda Tucker says the waters off the Isle of Palms near Charleston were closed Thursday afternoon when a nine-year-old boy and 30-year-old man sustained leg injuries within three hours of each other.

Tucker says the locations where the two were injured were separated by about four miles. She could not confirm the injuries were shark bites; however, a marine biologist says Friday that they likely were.

Bryan Frazier is a marine biologist with the Department of Natural Resources. He says he would need to see photos to say for sure if they were shark bites. But Frazier says it sounds like they are shark bites.

Nine-year-old Chase Crawford says the shark attacked him while he was riding a boogie board Thursday afternoon.

Chase had been in the ocean for several hours with his dad and brother, and says the attack happened in knee-deep water as they were heading back to shore. "I felt something bite me and I yelled, 'Dad!' and I could not pull my leg out of his mouth."

His father, Phillip Crawford, says, "I look down and I see this tail fin thrashing around his legs and I knew what it was. I said I have to get him out of here. I scooped him up and he had a bloody foot."

The family of the 30-year-old has released a statement on the shark attack:

"Yesterday, while swimming at a Charleston beach with his family, our son Noah Green was stricken with a severe ankle laceration and dislocation caused by a fish believed to be a shark.  The event occurred in about three feet of water and within 25 - 30 yards of the shoreline at around 4:30 pm.

"Noah is a 30 year-old teacher who is visiting his Iowa and Nebraska family in between teaching assignments in China.  Noah has been teaching English in either China or South Korea for five years.

"Our family selected Charleston SC as a location for this post-graduation family reunion of eleven immediate family members and a guest from the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Virginia.  Noah's 26 year-old sister is using the trip as a chance research Charleston as a location for a 2008 destination wedding.

"During the first exploratory surgery last evening, the ankle was repositioned and the wound cleaned and evaluated.  We are expecting to conduct a second, reconstruction and repair surgery later today.

"Noah's spirits are good.  His first concern was for the reaction of his bride, Ling, whom he married last month in China.  He has communicated his condition to her through email connections, and we are trying to make her understand the situation.  His second concern was for the well-being of the young swimmer who experienced a similar attack no more than two hours earlier in the same area.

"The family is grateful for the quick reactions and courage of those on the beach who contributed to the rescue.  We were fortunate to have a surgeon, doctor and nurse all vacationing on the beach near us.  The paramedics and the emergency action people of Mount Pleasant reacted quickly to Noah's needs, and we feel the personnel of East Cooper Regional Medical Center have aided greatly with our support.  Accidents of this nature reinforce the need to have an appropriate emergency notification plan in place, and have the necessary emergency equipment at hand to aid with emergency recoveries at both public and private beaches.

"Noah would like to thank the people of the city of Charleston and all those who have extended their sympathy and support."

Helicopters, boats and officials are on the beach to patrol the coastline Friday.

Tucker says it has been at least five years since anyone was bitten by a shark along the Isle of Palms, which is about 15 miles north of Charleston.

The Florida Museum of Natural History says the last fatal shark bite in South Carolina was in 1883.

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