What we know about the South Padre Island attacks

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – Multiple beachgoers on South Padre Island were attacked by the same shark on Independence Day, a time when the island is full of locals and out-of-town visitors for the holiday.

4 people injured

Texas Game wardens confirmed two people were bitten, a third person was grazed and a fourth man was injured fending off a shark on South Padre Island on Thursday.

CNN reported two off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agents pulled a victim from the water and applied a tourniquet to the person’s leg.

Rayner Cardenas told KRGV his son-in-law was pulled underwater by the shark.

“Started swimming towards him, and he jumped out of the water and started saying, ‘Shark! Shark!’ And that’s when adrenaline kicked in, and I went right after him.”

Cardenas saved his son-in-law by carrying him out of the water onto shore.

Brian McDaniel, who witnessed the aftermath, told KRGV, “How is this actually happening right now? It was very surreal.”

Nereyda Bazaldua told CNN she saw her 18-year-old daughter, Victoria, and her other children run out of the water.

Victoria had blood running down her leg after a few of the shark’s teeth scratched her leg, CNN reported. Bazaldua said her daughter’s wound was minor and not deep. They plan on getting Victoria a tetanus shot.

All of the attacks were believed to have been associated with the same shark, according to Texas Game Warden Captain Chris Dowdy.

Shark attack response

South Padre Island police were first called to the 4100 block of Gulf Boulevard around 11 a.m. on Thursday for a severe shark bite to a man’s leg.

Police and fire department personnel provided first aid at the scene before the man was transported to a Brownsville hospital.

In all, state park and wildlife officials said two victims were taken to the hospital. One of the victims received treatment in Brownsville, while the other was airlifted to an unknown location for further treatment.

“Local game wardens and members of the Texas Game Warden Marine Tactical Operations Group assisted in patrolling the beach by boat and land patrol while DPS patrolled the area by helicopter and SPI PD and Cameron County rangers assisted with crowd control on the beach,” Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said in a news release.

TPWD said shark encounters of this nature are not common in Texas, and sharks may mistake people for food.

What happens next

Dowdy said the shark escaped to open waters, and there were no plans to contain it.

TPWD said if you encounter large schools of bait near the shore, it could indicate a predator is nearby. You should remain calm and exit the water to wait for the animal to pass.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. said the county would be working with the City of South Padre Island, and state and federal agencies to patrol the beaches.

“This is a horrendous event, the County will continue to provide all resources needed to keep our families protected to the best of our abilities. We greatly appreciate the support of our city, state, and federal partners in this effort,” Trevino said.

Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

First appeared on www.ksat.com

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