An 8-year-old boy is recovering after a suspected shark attack that happened while he was playing in the ocean off Kamala beach in the Kathu district of Phuket on Sunday.
The suspected shark attack left a long, deep cut on his right calf.
Rescuers arrived at the beach after the boy was brought ashore by his parents and lifeguards. After receiving first aid, he was taken to the Bangkok Hospital Phuket for treatment.
In an interview with the boy’s family, the police learned his name is Napat Chaiyarak Christenko. His father is Ukrainian, and his mother is Thai.
According to the Bangkok Post, the boy was attacked while his parents were with him.
The doctors who examined the wound first thought he was bitten by a barracuda or sea pike about 80-120 centimeters in length.
However, Phuket Marine Biological Centre director Kongkiat Kittiwattawong said a baby shark could have mistaken the boy’s calf for a fish.
Boy Recovering from Baby Shark Attack
A tooth mark on the boy’s leg indicated that he may have been bitten by either a blacktip reef shark or a bull shark. Both sharks live in the Andaman Sea.
He said the two species of sharks are normally found hunting fish in surf zones.
Following the incident, Phuket deputy governor Pichet Panapong ordered lifeguards to remain vigilant.
Several signs have been put up along the beach to warn people to get out of the water if they see a shark or large fish.
The 8-year-old boy is now recovering from his injuries after being treated at Bangkok Hospital Phuket.
Phuket’s Kamala Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. From Phuket International Airport, it takes about 30 minutes to reach the beach.
Shark attacks in Thailand are extremely rare, with the last documented incident taking place more than 50 years ago. In January of 2020, a 75-year-old German tourist sustained a serious injury to his right leg from a suspected baby shark.
A comprehensive search for the shark was launched, but no such shark was discovered.
According to a Thai marine expert, both bull and blacktip reef sharks seldom attack larger prey.
There have been four actual confirmed shark attacks in Thailand from 1580 to the present, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History.