UH student Kori Robertson was standing with her friend in the waters of Surfside Beach, about 33 miles west of Galveston Island, when she felt something bite her thigh. Lifting her leg out of the water, she saw the fresh imprint of three rows of teeth above her right knee.
“The water was so brown, I could barely see anything,” Robertson said. “But when I saw the wounds, I was like, ‘I’ve got to get out of here.’”
The shark swam away, but Robertson, suspecting it was a shark, started swimming toward shore with her friend.
“I didn’t want to be in the water anymore,” Robertson said. “I didn’t want to get bitten again.”
When she reached her boyfriend Darren, he wrapped a towel around the wound and had a friend drive them to the hospital.
Robertson’s suspicions were confirmed after a trip to the emergency room. Doctors told her that she had probably been bitten by a bull shark. Bull sharks rarely attack but are common along the Texas coast.
To avoid catching an infection from bacteria in the Gulf Coast, doctors avoided stitches. Instead, the wound was thoroughly cleaned and wrapped with gauze.
Four hours in the hospital, an X-ray and a tetanus shot later, Robertson returned home to the Bayou Oaks apartments on campus. The next day, she stayed under the care of her mom who lives in the Woodlands.
After she appeared on the news, Robertson’s concerned friends and relatives contacted her. Upon returning to work, Robertson showed her scar to skeptical and interested coworkers.
After the injury, Robertson has become a little wary of beaches.
“I’ll definitely be more cautious,” Robertson said. “Next time, I won’t go too deep in the water.”
Still, the 22-year-old isn’t letting the attack keep her from having fun this summer.
“I love the beach,” Robertson said. “As soon as my leg heals, I’m going back.”
A later doctor’s appointment assured her that the wound is healing well. Robertson has been advised to drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun, and keep to a daily routine of cleaning and wrapping the wound.
An education major, Robertson offers some simple advice after a lesson learned.
“Be cautious,” Robertson said. “If you can’t see your feet in the water, get out.”