South Carolina

Woman bitten in suspected shark attack on popular South Carolina beach, family says

A woman needed 29 stitches after she was attacked by a possible shark off a popular South Carolina beach, according to her family.

Erica Hedrick, 22, was in the water off the beach on Isle of Palms Sunday when she was attacked, according to her cousin Katie Isbell, who was with her during the attack.

Desirée Fragoso, city administrator for the City of Isle of Palms, said in an email, “It is believed to have been a shark bite.”

shark bite victim.jpg
Cousins Katie Isbell and Erica Hedrick took this photo moments before Hedrick was attacked by a shark, Islbell said. Katie Isbell

“We were at the beach yesterday when a shark slammed into the side of my left arm and then bit Erica’s foot. We are so blessed it wasn’t any worse than this,” Isbell, 20, said on Facebook.

Hedrick has an infection in the foot now and as of Thursday morning, there was still a tooth embedded in the wound, Isbell said.

In an interview with McClatchy news group, Isbell said she and Hedrick swam out into deeper water and were having a good time when her cousin saw something.

“Then I saw this big light gray thing,” Isbell said. It bumped her, and she described it as feeling like getting bumped by a board.

Then Hedrick screamed “something is on my foot!” Isbell said, recounting the attack.

The cousins struggled to get back to shore through the current, and Isbell says she had to help pull Hedrick in. When they finally got to the beach and found help, Isbell said she remembered “a whole trail of blood behind us” back to the ocean.

A day after the attack, Isbell said, “Erica is doing great and we are still here trying to make the best of our vacation. just pray for her pain and both of our minds. This was a very traumatic experience for us both.”

shark bit_fitted.jpeg
Erica Hedrick had to get 29 stitches after the attack, her family said. Katie Isbell

Isle of Palms is a barrier island near Charleston that is popular with beachgoers.

Isbell, from Selmer, Tennessee, said she and her cousin decided to meet up for a little vacation in Charleston, and that’s what brought them out to the beach on Isle of Palms. Hedrick lives in Dayton, Ohio, the cousin said.

Thursday, Isbell said, Hedrick was meeting with a surgeon to see about how to treat the infection and remove the tooth still in the wound.

Related stories from The State in Columbia SC

Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.
  Comments