PANAMA CITY BEACH - A 7-year-old boy from Georgia is out of the hospital after being treated for what is believed to be a shark bite on his ankle.
Ethan Hand was swimming in shallow water Wednesday morning near Beach Access 16 on Surf Drive.
"My son had just gotten in the water and was about ankle deep,” said Emily Morrell. “He started yelling and crying. Ethan ran out of the water screaming saying he had been bitten by a shark."
Emily told the Bay County deputies who responded that she did not see a shark or any other marine animal near her son.
“I heard him scream and just grabbed him and took him up to the walkway," Emily said.
Neither did anyone else on the beach, including family friend Deana Kinder.
"I just heard Ethan screaming,” Kinder said. “Emily grabbed him and we took him up to the walkway and put a towel on the wound to stop the bleeding."
EMS arrived and transported Ethan to Bay Medical Center/Sacred Heart where Emily says doctors told her the puncture wound is more than likely caused by a small hammerhead shark or a nurse shark.
"I've got the other five that don't want to go anywhere near the water,” said Kinder. “It's a little scary now that it's sinking in. At first, it was kind of work mode, thinking like a nurse. "
Ethan, his family, and friends are visiting from Smyrna, which is a suburb of Atlanta.
He was released after plastic surgeons stitched up his ankle. He and his family will be heading back to Georgia on Thursday.