US man bitten and 'dragged underwater' in seventh shark attack off North Carolina coast

Man sustained injuries to his hip, ribcage and both hands

Click to follow

A 68-year-old man has been airlifted to hospital after being attacked and dragged underwater in the seventh shark attack along North Carolina’s coast in three weeks.

Andrew Costello reportedly attempted to fight off the 7ft shark but suffered injuries to his ribcage, lower leg, hip and both hands.

Eyewitnesses told local media he was swimming in shallow water, only 30ft from the beach on Ocracoke Island, when the animal attacked him at around 12.13pm yesterday.

Mr Costello was airlifted to Vidant Medical Centre in Greenville, North Carolina, last night and was reportedly conscious during his journey. The hospital told ABC News the patient was in a “fair” condition last night.

Authorities have confirmed that no other swimmers were injured – with Sky News reporting that just a few hours afterwards revellers were back in the water and enjoying the sun.

But not everyone is so blasé about the potential threat. The attack is the seventh so far in three weeks and has only increased some swimmers’ fears along the popular North Carolina beaches.

George Burgess, director of the Florida Programme for Shark Research at Florida International University, labelled the situation “extremely dangerous”.

"There is clearly a continuing threat situation here," he added to the US news network ABC.