Virginia teen recovering after fighting off shark attack
SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — The mother of a Virginia teenager attacked by a Bull shark while he surfed near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina found out this week her son would have to undergo surgery on a tendon in his hand. Jenn Peyton said her son Dylan injured the hand while he fought off the shark that chomped down on his leg.
Dylan, 15, was attacked in waist-deep water on August 20 while he rinsed off his hair in between sets.
"He had just given me the thumbs up after catching a nice wave," Jenn Peyton said. "Minutes later some guys ran up to me and asked if I had a teenage son. When I said yes, they told me he'd been attacked."
CBS 6 reporter Chelsea Rarrick spoke with Dylan about the attack Friday afternoon.
"I looked underwater and I saw blood coming everywhere and I immediately reacted and said oh my god this is a shark," he said.
Dylan said it bit him on the leg and then hand.
"I grabbed his nose and ripped him off my leg and he bit me in the hand," said Dylan, "I don't remember much else after that."
The shark's teeth lacerated Dylan's left leg.WARNING: Some readers may find these images of Dylan following the shark attack disturbing:
The Riverbend High School student fought back and in doing so suffered deep cuts to his hand when he ripped the shark's jaws off his body.
"Thankfully there were doctors and nurses on the beach," Peyton said. "By the time I got down there, they already had him wrapped up."
Dylan was rushed to the hospital where he received 40-stitches.
While experts say most shark attacks happen near sunrise or sunset, Dyland was attacked at about 12:30 p.m. He was surfing in Murrells Inlet at the time and was not near a pier, Jenn Peyton said.
"We were not concerned about sharks because most of the attacks had been in North Carolina," she added.
The day after the attack, the Peyton family ended their vacation early and returned home to Virginia.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the Peytons seem to be taking Dylan's near death experience in stride. Before leaving Myrtle Beach, the family stopped to snap a photo of Dylan inside the mouth of a shark at the gift shop. Jenn Peyton said she now had a new nickname for her son — Shark Bait.
Peyton said the family planned to return to Myrtle Beach next summer and that Dylan could not wait to get back into the water.
Dylan said he's not fearful to get back into the ocean again to surf.
"As I said to my parents, lightening never strikes twice," said Dylan.
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