Topsail Residents On Defensive About Shark Claims

Officials of Topsail Island are disputing an online story which claims it's a prime location for a shark attack.

The StarNews of Wilmington reports the island appears in an online listing as one of five places in the U.S. where shark encounters are most likely to occur.

Locals say the story posted on Yahoo Travel doesn't have numbers to back up its claim. However, a girl was bitten at North Topsail Beach last month.

Florida's Icthyology Center reports that New Hanover County has had nine shark bites and no deaths since record-keeping began in 1935. Onslow and Carteret counties were next-highest in the state, each reporting eight bites and one death.

Florida had the most U.S. shark attacks in 2010, with 23. North Carolina was second with five.