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Bahamas shark experience temporarily closes after 10-year-old boy bitten by shark

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(NEW YORK) — A shark experience in the Bahamas has temporarily closed after a 10-year-old boy from the United States was attacked by a shark during a recent excursion, the operator said.

The incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. local time Monday on Paradise Island, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said in a news release.

The boy was bitten on the right leg by a shark “while participating in an expedition in a Shark Tank at a local resort on Paradise Island,” the release said.

The boy — who was visiting from Maryland — was transported to a hospital and was in serious but stable condition, police told ABC News’ Good Morning America.

The boy left the hospital at 10:40 pm local time Wednesday and was airlifted back to Maryland for continued care, a hospital spokesperson told ABC News.

The incident occurred at the Atlantis Bahamas resort on Paradise Island, which is known for its marine lagoons. The resort, which appears to have removed references to its shark activities on its website, did not respond to requests for comment.

Blue Adventures by Stuart Cove, which operated the experience, said Wednesday they are “deeply saddened” that “a child suffered a shark bite during their in-water experience.”

“We have begun a thorough internal investigation and are fully cooperating with the authorities,” Stuard Cove said in the statement obtained by ABC News. “Incidents like this involving interactions with marine life, even with the species of sharks included in this experience, are rare and never acceptable.”

A dive instructor and dive guide were with the child in the water when the incident occurred, according to Cove. The experience will remain closed during the company’s investigation “and as we review the findings,” he said.

Monday’s attack marked the first time there has been a “guest-related incident” during the experience since the company began offering it in 2006, according to Cove.

Kim Darden, a guest at the Atlantis resort, told Eyewitness News Bahamas that she saw the child’s mother “running and screaming” afterward and his father carrying him. There was a towel wrapped around his leg “tourniquet-style,” she said.

“Everyone was frantic trying to figure out what was going on,” Darden told Eyewitness News Bahamas. “It was very chaotic right then.”

Police said the incident remains under investigation.

In December, a 44-year-old woman from Massachusetts was killed by a shark while paddleboarding in the Bahamas, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Five people were killed worldwide in unprovoked shark attacks in 2022 — one in the U.S., two in Egypt and two in South Africa — according to the most recent data available from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.

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