Boy, 13, bitten on foot by shark at Texas beach

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015
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According to the boy's mother, it could have been much worse had it not been for the teen's big brother.

GALVESTON, TX -- A 13-year-old boy was bitten by a shark in Galveston Monday morning.

According to Galveston Beach Patrol, Gregory Slaughter and his 17-year-old brother were walking in the water near 37th Street at about 10am when they waded into a school of fish. Slaughter's mother says a big wave came and the brother heard Slaughter scream. He went over to him, saw the shark and punched it in the head.

The shark bit Slaughter's ankle. His mother says he also tore two tendons on his left hand and suffered a small fracture on his right hand while trying to get the shark off of him. The injured boy was taken to UTMB by EMS, where he's listed in stable condition. His mother says he'll need surgery and doctors are keeping an eye on him to make sure he doesn't develop any infections.

Shark bites are very, very uncommon on Galveston Island. There's only been 9 shark bites In the last 20 years.

"It tends to be a mistake whenever you get bit by a shark. They're feeding here near Galveston, it's fish that they feed on. So just for your safety, we're advising people don't swim near schools of fish. If you do happen to be cut or have an open, don't get in the water and swim. We always recommend that people shuffle there especially in shallow water. It scares ... the sharks away most of the time," Beach Patrol Lt. Kara Harrison said.

The boys told authorities the shark was about four to five feet long, but they were unable to identify the type of shark.

The beach remains open.