A Texas man was rushed to the hospital Thursday morning after he was attacked and bitten by a shark in the waters off Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston.

According to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, 42-year-old Blaine Shelton from Alvin, TX was swimming near a sandbar off Stingray Road around 10 a.m. when the shark bit him on the thigh just above the knee.

Shelton is an experienced swimmer and has been swimming far distances in the ocean since he was a kid, Fox 4 reports. He says he was about 2,000 feet offshore when he felt the shark bump into him.

"I knew it was a bull shark when it bumped into me. Because they always do that. They bump into whatever they're going after," Shelton told Fox 4. "And then it wasn't even a second later, I felt the grab."

Shelton then says he swam as fast as he could back to shore and his friend was able to rush him to the hospital with a law enforcement escort.

Shelton is reportedly in stable condition and expected to be okay.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, there have been 18 confirmed shark attacks in Galveston County since 1911, and this summer, there has been an increase in large shark sightings near Galveston, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Shark bites are very rare, even so, the Galveston Island Beach Patrol has a few tips for avoiding sharks while still enjoying the water.

  • Don’t swim near areas where water empties into the gulf. Sharks are more common in those areas.
  • Don’t go in the water if you’re bleeding.
  • When wade fishing, don't keep the bleeding fish you've caught near you in the water. That can attract sharks.
  • Don’t try to swim through a school of fish. Sharks prey on schooling fish.
  • Always swim in a group.
  • Avoid erratic movement as they can attract sharks.
  • Don't wear shiny jewelry, it can look like shinning fish scales to a shark
  • Avoid the water at night, dawn, and dusk - sharks are most active at those times.
crystal beach shark attack galveston
Location of shark attack

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