Delaware Shark Bite Victim: 'All I Saw Were His Teeth'

A teen is recovering from a shark attack off a Delaware beach.

A teen was bitten by a shark in Delaware waters north of Rehoboth. (Credit: Patch File Photo)
A teen was bitten by a shark in Delaware waters north of Rehoboth. (Credit: Patch File Photo)
After a teen was bitten by a shark in Delaware this week, the victim is on the mend and officials deemed the incident isolated in nature.

Around 5 p.m. on Monday, a 16-year-old was splashing the surface of the water at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, DE, when he felt something clamp onto his left arm, according to USA Today. It was a shark.

"I punched it in his head, and he didn't let go," victim Andrew Vance told WBOC, the CBS affiliate out of Salisbury. "His head was grayish or brown, and all I saw were his teeth. I saw his teeth in my arm."

Vance, who lives in Delmar, said he put his thumb into the shark's mouth and it released him.

Lifeguards treated Vance at the scene before he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he received more than 20 stitches for gashes on his forearm, according to The News Journal.

See photos of the victim and his bite. Warning: The images are graphic.

At the time of the bite, Vance and his sister had been swimming in about 5 feet of water close by the boardwalk, WMDT, the ABC affiliate in Delmarva, reported.

Since the bite occurred around 5 p.m., it was dinnertime for the shark, which most likely mistook the boy for a fish, a state biologist told the Cape Gazette.

Officials said the alleged assailant was likely a juvenile sandbar shark, relatively common in the mid-Atlantic; bites, however, are highly unusual.

Delaware's Secretary of Environmental Resources Collin O'Mara told NBC Philadelphia that it had been approximately 15 to 20 years since a shark bite was reported in the area, and the incident should be considered isolated.

Seeing no signs of sharks after lifeguards patrolled on land and O'Mara observed the waters by helicopter, the beach was cleared for swimmers at 1 p.m. Tuesday, USA Today reported.

Have you ever been in the water near a shark? Tell us in the comments!

Christopher Boyd June 12, 2014 at 08:40 AM
So, around 5pm is dinnertime for sharks? Do they have watches? Will you please tell me when they consider breakfast and lunchtime to be so I can avoid the water at those times too?
runymede June 15, 2014 at 07:51 AM
tambolisa1 June 12, 2014 at 08:58 AM
I pulled a 3 foot shark out of the water a couple days before the attack. It was struggling in the surf. A lifeguard helped me save it and get it safely back into the ocean. I talked to Fish & Wildlife here in Delaware and they said they think it was probably a juvenile sandbar shark, but don't think it was the same shark that attacked the teen because it was probably ill. But, ironic that it was a couple days before the attack. The shark did not try to attack me when I saved it. I pulled it in by its tail in about 5 feet of water. I have a pic I can send in to you if you want it.
pam johnson June 12, 2014 at 10:56 AM
tambolisa, maybe send your info to the "state biologist" mentioned in article. i think UofDel has a marine school in Cape Henlopen. I'm sure they'd be interested in your info/photo!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »