It might not be safe to go back in the water.
A 47-year-old JPMorgan broker from Charlotte, North Carolina, had a brush with Jaws last week and is lucky to have survived the attack on the Outer Banks. With 15 years’ experience as an advisor this likely is the scariest thing the veteran broker has experienced in recent years including the 2008 market correction.
Swimming in waist-deep water with his eight-year-old son, Patrick Thornton’s ankle began to bleed after being bitten by a crab. That attracted a five-foot shark which took a chomp out of the broker’s back prompting other sharks to take notice.
With enough presence to yell “shark” several times warning others to get onshore to safety, Thornton punched the shark several times until it let go. In an effort to get his son out of the water the Charlotte man was forced to put himself in the way of the other sharks and was bitten a second time by the original shark.
Eventually, Thornton was able to reach the beach where paramedics took him to hospital where he was treated for puncture wounds to his back as well as 10 inches of missing skin above his right ankle.
The fifth of six shark attacks in North Carolina in the month of June, Thornton is lucky to be alive. However, shark attacks are said to be far more rare than being killed in a car accident.
"Shark attacks are rare," said Sara Mirabilio, fisheries extension specialist with the North Carolina Sea Grant. "I try to tell people all the time that you have a higher probability of getting in your car and getting into a fatal accident over this Fourth of July holiday."