PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — A family vacation to the beach turned into a scene out of a movie when a 12-year-old boy from Pleasant Grove was bitten by a shark while swimming in South Carolina Tuesday.
According to the boy’s family, one moment he was happily playing in the water and the next he was yelling that he had been bitten in the leg. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Kysen Weakley, 12, was the child injured in the attack, and his father spoke to FOX 13 News’ Robert Boyd about the experience. The man was unable to attend the family vacation and stayed home in Utah.
Kysen was bitten in the right thigh above his knee and required eight stitches. Photos from the family show the wound and a smiling Kysen after he received medical care.
The shark attack happened at a beach near Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. According to his father, Kysen was swimming with his younger cousin about 10 feet from the shore when the attack occurred. Kysen began yelling to everyone that he had been bitten by a shark, and according to his father the boy actually saw the fin of the shark as the animal swam away.
“There were both playing in the water, laying there in the water, all of a sudden my son felt the bite and looked back, saw the shark swimming away, we don’t know–I guess my son doesn’t taste good,” Wayne Weakley said of his son’s experience.
According to family, Kysen’s first concern after being bit wasn’t his leg, but his cousin.
"He told his cousin to get out of the water, ‘I just got bit by a shark,’" Weakley said.
Kysen was immediately treated by lifeguards at the scene. By looking at the size of the bite, 18 inches wide and about 7 inches deep, it is estimated that the shark was five to seven feet long. Kysen’s father said he worries about all his children but never thought a shark attack would be an issue.
Wayne Weakley said: “You can’t believe it, we’re from Utah–You know, shark?! He says ‘I just got bit by a shark,’ and my wife said, ‘What?’ [He replied] ‘I got bit,’ and he just sort of stood up and pulled his shorts up a little bit, and blood all down his leg.”
According to his father, Kysen is doing just fine and the family plans to finish their vacation, but they realize how devastating this could have been.
“You never know what could have happened, he could have gotten dragged out to sea, he could have gotten his whole leg pulled off,” said Lynzie Weakley, the boy's sister.
Lynzie said she couldn’t believe how calm and actually excited her brother was over the whole experience.
“He was like, ‘Yeah it was so awesome I got bit by a shark and all these lifeguards came and bandaged me up and now we are on the way to the hospital,’ and I was like, ‘OK, cool,’” Lynzie said.
And you might think he’d be afraid to get back in the water, but he actually can’t wait to go swimming again.
Unfortunately it won’t be this trip, because he can’t get his stitches wet.
The family said he’s become sort of a local celebrity in Pleasant Grove.
"He's excited to have a story to get girls, ‘hey you want to see my shark bite,’" Lynzie said.
You can also imagine he has gained some new nicknames.
"I was thinking I was going to call him shark bite as soon as I talked to him," Wayne Weakley said.
There have been an unusually high number of shark attacks in the Carolinas this summer, click here for details.