It was to be a day of sailing and on New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain.
But after Shelly Trentacosta and her family ventured out to the middle of the lake with a friend’s sailboat Friday, the calm conditions — along with the clear water — made it even better for swimming, NOLA.com noted.
So the anchor went down and the family jumped in, the paper said.
Trentacosta’s 7-year-old son, Trent, was enjoying himself along with everybody else — until the screaming started.
“The kids were bunched up together playing, and Trent just started screaming,” his mother told NOLA. “We started swimming to him, and I didn’t know what was going on. I grabbed his leg, and there was a lot of blood.”
Trentacosta got her boy back into the boat but couldn’t tell exactly what happened as his foot was covered with blood, the paper noted.
But once she got Trent to a doctor, NOLA noted they got the surprising news — he was bitten by a shark. His cleaned-up foot revealed the bite marks on his heel and big toe.
“(Trent) had been screaming so much,” his mother told NOLA. “It wasn’t until he settled down that he told us something charged at him from under the water.”
Trentacosta added to NOLA that her son said that “when he was swimming, something bumped him from the back. He turned around to look, and then he felt it swim around to the front of him, and when he turned again, it charged at him.”
“He literally had to kick it off,” she added. “It was clamped down.”
Trent told WAFB-TV that “it felt like rows of knives sticking in my foot.”
Mitchell Chevalier, who tags sharks for the University of New Orleans and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told NOLA that there are, in fact, plenty of sharks in Lake Pontchartain at certain times of the year.
When looking at photos of Trentacosta’s foot, he knew right away it was a bull shark “probably around 5 feet,” he told NOLA.
Trentacosta is expected to make a full recovery, NOLA noted.
“We’ve been swimming in the lake forever,” his mom recalled to NOLA. “You don’t think something like that will happen. That was the last thought that crossed my mind.”