Shark Week: Locals Catch Black Tip Shark
Some local fisherman are “reeling” from an exciting Shark Week fishing experience on Tuesday, July 30 while vacationing in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Tyler County residents Phil and Colton Ring, Wetzel County resident Mike Bates, and Randolph County resident Elliott White were fishing aboard the “Free Agent” fishing charter with Captain Rick Caton and First Mate Josh Griffin when Colton landed a 5 foot, 64 pound black tip shark. As Colton fought his catch, Captain Rick and Griffin prepared to help land the shark by each using a gaff, which is a long pole tipped with a big hook.
After heaving the shark on board, the shark quickly turned his head and clamped down on Caton’s right shin, sinking its teeth into his shin bone. In the live video, you can hear Caton screaming, “He got me! He got me!” At that point, Griffin stabbed the shark behind the head, forcing the shark to release Caton’s leg.
Caton stumbled over to a chair and yelled for someone to get the Clorox Bleach so he could sanitize the wound. Sharks have large amounts of bacteria in their mouths, so it’s very important to sanitize the site quickly. The bite was a 7 inch half circle around the captain’s leg. Thankfully, he didn’t lose any flesh but the puncture wounds were very deep. The other fishermen on board helped Caton wrap his leg in blue shop towels and gorilla tape before they headed back to land.
After returning to the mainland, Caton posed for pictures with his customers before seeking medical help. A very special nurse made a trip across the ferry from Ocracoke to tend to Caton’s wound.
These local fishermen all speak very highly of Caton and Griffin for an unforgettable fishing experience, as they booked another trip with them for Thursday, August 1. Their quick actions and knowledge of the seas kept things from being much worse than they could’ve been. They also recommend the “Free Agent” charter to anyone visiting the Outer Banks and wanting a successful fishing trip. In order to not disappoint their customers, the dedicated Captain Caton and Mate Griffin returned to the water the very next morning for another charter.
A live video captured by Mike Bates of the incident can be found on YouTube and many other media outlets.