Shark Bite Might Not Have Killed Man In Dare County

Authorities say they now aren't sure whether sharks killed a Pittsburgh man whose body washed up on a North Carolina beach last month.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., reported the North Carolina medical examiner's office first released a report Friday saying an autopsy and review of photos by marine biologists led experts to decide 60-year-old Richard Snead died from accidental drowning in Kill Devil Hills.

But a few hours later, officials said another researcher reviewing the death disagreed, saying it looked like shark bites killed the man.

Officials say they will now do a final review of the death that could take weeks.

Snead's body washed ashore on the Outer Banks about four days after he was last seen taking a late night swim in the ocean.



Previous Story from September:

A shark bite killed a Pittsburgh man who disappeared after going swimming on the Outer Banks this past weekend.

The body of Richard Snead was found Thursday when it washed up on the beach in Kill Devil Hills.

The State Medical Examiner's Office in Greenville says the 60-year-old man died from injuries from a shark bite.

Currituck County authorities say this is the first recorded case of a shark bite in their county since 2000.

Authorities say Snead was swimming near mile post 4.5 in Corolla sometime after 9:00 p.m. on September 12th and was reported missing right after midnight.

The last fatal confirmed fatal shark attack off the North Carolina coast was in September 2001.

It happened in Avon, near Cape Hatteras. A 27-year-old man was critically injured and died from blood loss. His girlfriend was also attacked. She lost her foot.

Both were Russian, living in Virginia, on vacation on the Outer Banks. The two were attacked while swimming near a sandbar around 6 p.m.

It was never confirmed what kind of shark attacked the two, but some reports suggested it was a bull shark.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bill Location: Greenville on Oct 18, 2009 at 04:07 PM
    To anonymous. Who cares ?
  • by Bubba Location: OBX on Oct 18, 2009 at 01:51 PM
    Why is Dare County being mentioned as "Might Not Have Killed Man In Dare County"... The man who died was in CURRITUCK County when he entered the water. In all likelihood he drowned off Currituck and floated down to Dare. He washed up on the beach in Dare. I suggest that the headline be changed to "Shark Bite May Not Have Killed Man in Currituck County". This is the type of thing that people search the internet about and made vacation decisions on. It was CURRITUCK... not Dare... get it right!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 22, 2009 at 03:34 PM
    i was in outer banks when this took place.
  • by Bob on Sep 20, 2009 at 06:24 PM
    Umm, both were russian. Maybe they didn't know what a shark was?
  • by brett on Sep 19, 2009 at 06:18 PM
    I know what you're saying diver down, but I surf for the challenge and my favorite surfing moments are during hurricanes and when there is a chance for sharks in the area. It's a high you just can't believe dude.
  • by DONNA on Sep 19, 2009 at 04:11 PM
    I think that more information needs to be posted for people not from this area. Swimming in the ocean at dusk and before dawn is when the sharks feed. Many people from other areas do not know this. I think signs need to be posted for those people who may not realize it. So sorry for the family.
  • by Keith Location: Troy on Sep 19, 2009 at 12:47 PM
    Too bad, millions of us go into the ocean all the time and any could be the one in a million sharkbite victim. My condolences.
  • by Ryan Location: Cary on Sep 19, 2009 at 11:55 AM
    My family was staying a few miles away in Corolla. The news report said there was no water found in his lungs, i.e. drowning was not the cause of death. It would've been nice to know as we were in the water all week. Our condolences to the family, can't imagine what they must be going through right now...
  • by C on Sep 19, 2009 at 11:53 AM
    I've said it before,and I'll say it again: If God had meant for me to swim in the ocean,He would've given me gills. I do all my swimming in a pool,thank you. Yes,you can still drown in a pool..but there ain't no riptides,and no carnivorous critters either.
  • by diver down Location: greenville on Sep 19, 2009 at 11:09 AM
    Very sad for this mans family. Most every creature in the ocean feeding at night makes it very dangerous for top water swimmers or waders. I think maybe if you could ever see exactly what a surfer looks like from the deep while laying on the surf board it would be the last time you surf. Seals are the sharks favorite food remember? At night everything looks like food to a shark. Oh by the way Brett,don't fool yourself there is no challenge. If Mr. shark decides you're his lunch then it's a done deal. You certainly can't out swim him or beat him up for he was born to do one thing.....eat.
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