A teenager surfing in the ocean off the 109th Street beach in Stone Harbor sustained non-life-threatening injuries from a possible shark attack, according to a news release.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, emergency services responded to a 911 call for the injured surfer.
The Stone Harbor Police Department, along with the fire and rescue squads, arrived at the scene to provide assistance. The injured surfer, identified as a 15-year-old girl from Pennsylvania, suffered several lacerations to her left foot and calf, according to a Stone Harbor news release.
She was treated at the scene by Stone Harbor Fire/Rescue. She was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center for further evaluation and care, where she received six stitches.
“Stone Harbor remains a beloved and popular destination for beachgoers from near and far,” Mayor Judy Davies-Dunhour said in a statement. “The local police and fire departments are fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of both residents and tourists. They are taking appropriate measures to thoroughly assess the situation and provide necessary updates to the public.”
The Stone Harbor Police Department has been collaborating with local marine life experts and professionals in an effort to determine the exact cause of the surfer’s wounds.
After careful examination, it has been determined by the New Jersey State Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office that the injuries sustained by the surfer are consistent with those typically associated with a shark, according to the release.
The type of shark and its size are unknown, the release said.
No restrictions on beach activities are planned at this time. However, Stone Harbor officials urge all beachgoers to exercise caution and adhere to any safety guidelines issued by local authorities.
This incident serves as a reminder of the potential risks associated with water activities in areas where marine life thrives, the release states.
According to the International Shark Attack File Beach Injuries and Fatalities Report, the odds of a shark attack in the United States are 1 in 11.5 million. However low the risk, Stone Harbor officials encourage all visitors to remain vigilant.
Updates regarding any new information or developments will be communicated to the public.