Missouri Girl Attacked by Shark off Hilton Head Island

JUNE 8, 2006 - Posted at 8:29 a.m. CST

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC - A seven-year-old girl from the St. Louis area was bitten by a shark while playing in two feet of water off Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Deputies say the girl suffered puncture wounds to her foot and buttocks in the attack yesterday afternoon, but the injuries were not life-threatening.

Authorities did not release the girl's name, but they said her mother is Amy B. Wallis of Ballwin.

Lifeguards and others on the beach first thought the girl had been stung by a stingray.  But the doctor who treated her found a shark tooth embedded in her foot.

An average of three shark bites are reported on South Carolina beaches each year, and the last shark bite reported on Hilton Head Island was in 2001.

The last fatal shark attack off the island occured in 1883.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)