CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The man bitten by a shark Monday on Sullivan's Island is recovering, but says the incident won't keep him out of the water.
"We came down for vacation," John Richardson, 34, said of his visit Monday to Sullivan's Island. "We checked into our hotel then went down to Sullivan's to hang out for a little while."
They had only been on the beach for about 15 to 20 minutes when he went wading into the water to cool off, he said. He went as far as waist-deep into the water, but it was when he was on his way back to the beach in knee-deep water that he felt something strange.
"It really felt like a big abrasion," he said. "Almost like if you had a brick drop on your foot. It didn't feel like something clamping down; it felt like I hit something real hard with my foot. It didn't feel like what I'd think a shark bite would feel like."
When he looked down, he saw a four-foot long shark which he thinks was a sand shark swimming away.
"It got me as I was taking a step, foot off the ground," he said. He quickly made his way towards the beach. "As soon as I could get to where I could see my feet in the water, I was just pouring blood everywhere."
Once out of the water, he saw two large lacerations behind his big toe with teeth marks all the way around on the top and bottom of his foot.
He was transported to MUSC for treatment. He said he had an arterial bleed behind his big toe which doctors had to patch up. They then prescribed strong antibiotics to prevent infection before they stitch up the wounds.
There were no other beachgoers in the immediate area at the time, but he saw multiple families on both sides a distance away.
But don't expect him to avoid the water. Richardson says he has always loved the beach.
"I was always at the beach when I was a kid. When I was in diapers, my mom used to take me to Panama City," he said. He lived in Charleston and Summerville before the Navy Base closed and even spent time at the beach while living in Connecticut. "In 34 years, this happened once."
He says he'll wait before hit foot is all healed up, but he'll definitely be back in.
"The beach is one of my favorite places to be," he said.