• STV
  • MySTV

Scots schoolboy attacked by shark while on holiday

Shane McConnell was left needing 53 stitches after he was bitten by a bull shark.

Schoolboy: Attacked in the Bahamas.
Schoolboy: Attacked in the Bahamas.

A Scottish schoolboy has survived being bitten by a shark while on holiday in the Bahamas.

Shane McConnell, 12, suffered injuries to his legs when he was attacked by a bull shark in a harbour in Bimini Island.

Doctors believe the tough rubber swimming shoes Shane was wearing helped to prevent more serious injuries.

Shane, from Balerno in Edinburgh, still had to have 53 stitches after being rushed to hospital following the ordeal earlier this month.

Bitten: Swimming shoes saved Shane from further injury.
Bitten: Swimming shoes saved Shane from further injury. Vic Rodrick

He said: "I was walking along the marina when it happened. I put my hand over my eyes to block the sun out because it was so bright, and accidentally tripped on a metal cleat and fell into the sea.

"I was scared, because I knew there were sharks around - I had seen the shadow of one earlier that day.

"I knew I had to get to the ladder, but my lucky cap had flown off my head and floated away.

"I swam to grab it and, when I was swimming back to the ladder, I saw half a shark's body come out of the water.

"I saw its tail and fin - it was big and it was grey.

"I was splashing a lot, and I think it thought I was food thrown in for it."

'I saw Shane's blonde hair and his cap, and my legs turned to jelly. I started shaking and crying.'
Debbie McConnell

He went on: "I shouted for help when I saw it, but then it disappeared under me.

"I felt it brush my hand - I thought it had missed me."

After he got back to shore security guards saw he shark had sunk its teeth into his feet. Shane had gone into shock and did not initially realise he had been bitten.

Shane's father Jim, 56, a support worker for adults with special needs, was first to arrive at the scene.

He said: "I saw someone laying on the ground. I recognised the T-shirt and shorts and I knew it was Shane. I ran over, and immediately went into first aid mode.

"At first I thought he had climbed down the ladder to feed the sharks and actually started giving him a row.

"But then I saw his feet and the large puncture wounds, and saw the blood after the towels had been taken off. I realised it was serious."

Shane's mum Debbie, 48, a supermarket worker, arrived a few minutes later, after being told by strangers at the pool about a shark attack at the harbour.

She said: "I saw Shane's blonde hair and his cap, and my legs turned to jelly. I started shaking and crying.

"I was in shock. I couldn't believe it, and I ran over to him and held his hand.

"Shane kept saying he was alright and reassuring me, but it was the adrenaline in him I think - that's why he couldn't feel any pain.

"I just kept thinking what could have happened. What if? He could have lost his feet or his legs, or worse, been killed."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.