Shark Attacks in South Carolina. Interview with victim of recent shark attack in South Carloina.
Fripp Island (South Carolina) - 22-05-2001
A man vacationing with his family on Fripp Island was bitten by a shark Sunday shortly after he arrived to start his vacation. Dr. Michael Heidenreich was
swimming in waist deep water off Fripp Island at about 7 p.m. Sunday with several family members when he felt something tugging at his calf.
"There really wasn't much to it," Heidenreich said. "It just kind of took a chomp and left. There wasn't a lot of pain. My concern was that it took a
minute or so to get out of the water and I wasn't sure if it was coming back."
His father, Dr. Fred Heidenreich, said he was about 20 feet away from Michael when he saw him suddenly grimace and start reaching for his leg.
At first he thought his son might have been hit by a stingray or jellyfish. But when he saw the torn calf muscle and blood, he knew it was something worse.
The Heidenreichs are a family of physicians; Michael Heidenreich is in his fifth year of general surgery residency at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill; his brother is an orthopedic surgeon; their father is retired. "We were able to clean up the wound, put a compress on it, and drive Michael to
the hospital," Fred Heidenreich said. "The people who treated him said they believed it to be a shark bite."
Dr. Robert Rhodin, an orthopedic surgeon with Lowcountry Medical Group, treated Michael Heidenreich. Rhodin confirmed that it was a shark bite. The wound,
he said, was about 13.5 centimeters across the base of the calf and showed scalpel-like cuts. Rhodin said Heidenreich should recover satisfactorily from his
injuries, although it will take some time. Heidenreich will be on crutches for at least 4-6 weeks, and probably won't be able to drive during that time.
"I'll probably think about it pretty carefully before I go back into the water," he said. "I wish I hadn't gone swimming yesterday."