Local News

Central NC woman bitten by shark at Hilton Head

Posted May 10, 2014

— An Iredell County woman is recovering after being bitten by a shark earlier this week while swimming in the ocean at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. 

Kimberly Popp, of Mooresville, said she was in knee-deep water Tuesday afternoon when something hit her foot, according to WBTV

Moments later, when she lifted her leg out of the water, she saw that a shark had bitten her. Popp said she punched the shark in the nose until it let go of her leg. 

"I was yelling. I wanted my kids out of there, because I knew they were right next to me. Was there any more of them, I don't know," she said.

Popp believed the shark was about 5-feet long and said it was as wide as her shoulders. She estimated it was probably bigger than her 6-year-old son who was swimming with her and Popp's 4-year-old daughter.

Popp says a lifeguard wrapped her foot and she was taken to Hilton Head Hospital, where she received 14 stitches to her foot. She is expected to be on crutches for several weeks.


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  • Sean Creasy May 12, 2014
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    I have to question exactly what time of day it was. The story just says "afternoon". If for example it was around 5;30 or 6 pm then she shouldn't have been in the water anyway as this is the typical start time for feeding and usaually lasts up to well after sundown. People should make themselves more aware of this and there would not be problems that seem to happen every year.

  • rmsmith May 12, 2014

    I shark fish off the beach all the time. Majority are blacktip. Others include sand tiger, lemon, spinner and rarely a bull shark. They typically feed between the beach and sand bar. Best fishing time for sharks is 30 minutes to sunset. However, I've caught sharks in the middle of the day and in the 6-8 foot range.

    The majority of the "hits" when fishing for sharks are when they simply taste a bait and run with it. If they do not like it, they expell the bait.

    The lady probably tried to get away from the shark and as its teeth curve inward is why she had to smack it to get lose.

    And there are VERY large sharks that hang out around piers and inside the sound.

  • Wendy Banner May 12, 2014
    user avatar

    I'd like to know what time of day it was. Just in case there's a more likely time that the sharks come closer to shore. I've heard that it's more likely later in the day; late afternoon to dusk.