What was supposed to be a relaxing Mother's Day at Hilton Head Island was ruined by what a family believes was a shark attack.
Paul Turrell and his family moved from Orlando, FL to the Lowcountry last weekend and they were looking for a place to relax. They decided to visit the Disney Hilton Head Island Resort located in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but what the family ended up getting was the complete opposite of relaxation.
Ten-year-old Jei Turrell described the moments he says felt like a dream. He said he was swimming in waist-deep water with his brother in Hilton Head Island when he encountered what he believes was a shark.
"I was underwater and I see a shark's mouth. It was so quick, it just got me and bolted it off and then I kind of picked it up and I was like...I yelled 'SHARK!' and then I ran to my mom and she wrapped it up with a towel that was on her waist."
Jei's mother, Tonya Turrell, says when her son first came out of the water screaming "shark" she thought he was joking - until she saw his arm.
"I saw his arm. It was just dripping flesh and blood."
Turrell says her son was bitten twice on the arm, all the way to his bone.
According to WTOC, beach staff labeled the bite mark as highly likely to be a shark bite because the type of laceration he received. However, they could not officially confirm the bite to be from a shark.
"Something that may be a shark or other fish biting, you may see something like a half moon type of shape on the lacerations," said Mike Wagner from Hilton Head Beach Services.
Jei was rushed to a nearby airport and flown to Savannah Memorial Hospital, while his parents drove there to meet up with him.
"It was the longest hour of my life," said Tonya Turrell. "The most terrifying hour of my life."
She said neither of her sons saw the shark until it attacked. She wants to warn other parents to be careful with their children in the water.
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