Ouch! An Annapolis paddleboarder claims he was bitten by a shark while in the Rhode River.
A local paddleboarder was left with an injury to his arm after he claims he was attacked by a shark. The man, Chris Bowen, was walking in the water of the Rhode River on his way back from a paddleboarding trip on Wednesday when he felt something brush against his body and saw a tail splash away.
He realized it wasn't just a brush when he got out of the water and noticed a scrap on his leg with dozens of puncture wounds. Bowen sent the photos to the Maryland Natural Resources Police who were unable to conclusively say if he was bitten by a shark by the photos alone.
Courtesy of Chris Bowen
Police spokeswoman, Candy Thomson, stated that the wound could be the result of a catfish as their pectoral and dorsal fins can cause injuries to people. This attack may bring about a new definition to the term "catfishing."
Bowen remains unconvinced and told Patch, "I don't believe it was a catfish. I've put my hands in many catfish mouth and they do not have teeth like that. Probably just a small shark."
According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, there are at least 12 species of shark found in the Chesapeake Bay. The program also states that the local sharks rarely pose a risk to the public. "As of 2015, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources had not recorded any shark attacks in the Chesapeake Bay or in any of Maryland’s waters. The International Shark Attack File records no unprovoked shark attacks in the state of Maryland and only five in the state of Virginia, none of which occurred in the Chesapeake."
Despite the bad rap sharks get from movies like Jaws, sharks rarely go out of their way to attack humans. The chances of getting attacked by a shark in the United States are 1 in 11.5 million. You are much more likely to live to 100 years old or get hit by a comet.
Even when sharks attack humans, it is often a "provoked" attack where a person is bitten while trying to fish or catch the shark. In unprovoked attacks, the sharks may be attacking people who they mistake to be fish in the water.
If you find yourself in the 1 in 11.5 million position that a shark is attacking you, follow the old adage and hit the shark in the nose. After you hit the shark, head for the shore away from the shark.
Maybe sharks are the ones who should be scared of us. A 2013 study found that humans kill approximately 100 million sharks a year! So while you wade in the water, be on the lookout for sharks but remember they are not the killers that pop culture makes them out to be.
What do you think? Do you think it was a shark bite? Let us know in the comments below!