While fishing near Port Aransas, Texas, Shawn Hamilton was attacked by a bull shark, leaving behind wounds on his leg and foot.
On July 7, although a rarity, two bull shark attacks were reported along the Texas coast. A 12-year-old boy was bitten near Port O' Connor, and just 30 minutes later in Port Aransas, 14-year-old Shawn Hamilton of San Antonio, also suffered wounds from a shark bite.
"All of a sudden, I just see this shark coming at me," said Hamilton. "It was really fast, and I didn't have any time to react."
Hamilton was fishing on a sandbar near Mustang Island, just south of Port Aransas, when a bull shark charged at his leg. An experienced fisherman, no bait was in the water near his feet. Hamilton believed the bull shark mistook his foot for a stingray, which are common prey for the sharks.
"Its head just pounded on my leg. It started biting me, and I just started jumping up and down," said Hamilton.
Hamilton then hobbled back to shore with help from his parents. There, they wrapped his foot and quickly got him to a hospital in Corpus Christi.
"I guess your motherly instinct takes over and you're trying to calm your child down and not freak out in front of him," said Ronda Hamilton, Shawn's mother.
Hamilton's wounds on his foot and shin required some 54 stitches and a stint in the hospital.
"I guess my adrenaline was just pumping, because honestly all I felt was the head just nailing my leg. I didn't feel it biting," said Hamilton.
Unprovoked shark attacks are rare along the Texas coast according to the International Shark Attack File. The attack was only the 11th reported incident in Nueces County since 1911.
"Chances are pretty slim and it's pretty weird it happened to me," said Hamilton
Hamilton believed he would have a good story to tell his classmates when he returns to school as a freshman at MacArthur High Schools and said he planned to be healed in time for basketball season. He also said he would not think twice about returning to the coast to fish.
"Chances of being bit by a shark are not very good, and chances of being bit by a shark twice are not very good at all," said a joking Hamilton.