A 17-year-old girl who lost part of her leg and some fingers after a shark attack at a North Carolina beach on Sunday, June 2, says she still loves the marine beasts. According to the Atlantic Beach Fire Department, Paige Winter sustained “deep lacerations to her leg, pelvis and hand areas” in the attack around noon at Fort Macon State Park, stated aÂ Daily Mail report.
Speaking to WCTI-TV, park ranger Paul Terry said the attack took place when the teen was swimming in the water. And the attack would have been more severe, had it not been for the timely intervention of her father. According to the girl’s grandmother, her son bravely fought the beast as he “punched the shark in the face five times before it let go.”
At 12.19 pm Sunday, rescuers responded to the area by the bathhouse and rushed Paige to a waiting East Care Helicopter at Carteret Health Care. Vidant Medical Center in Greenville released a statement saying “her family expresses their appreciation for the first responders, the individuals on the beach who helped and her heroic father who saved her life.”
Winter, whose father works for the City of Havelock Fire-Rescue Department, was listed as being in “good condition and receiving excellent care” at the hospital. Her grandmother posted “she is still alive” with “one leg gone”, adding she “may need a hand transplant in the future and several on the other.”
Marcy Winter, her mother and a former marine, posted later on Sunday, June 2: “Paige is out of surgery and awake, she’s still pretty groggy but cracking jokes. She wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people.” In fact, the child was eager to show her undying love for marine life despite the bloody attack, the hospital said.
“Despite this unfortunate circumstance, Paige is an unwavering advocate for the marine life and the animals who live in the water,” the statement continued. “She wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety.”
Chad Morgan from Reel Faith Fishing Charters said he captured a shark thrashing around in the sea on Friday, May 31, near where the girl was attacked. He told WCTI that sharks are becoming a real problem in the vicinity. So far, there have been 16 shark attacks in the United States this year, with most of them occurring in Florida.Â Last year, there were a total of 33 shark bites reported across the country.
People have been advised to avoid swimming in murky water wearing yellow or shiny jewelry, especially after storms, according to Tracking Sharks. The website also recommends fighting back if attacked by a shark â€” targeting its eyes and gills by hitting, ripping, poking, or tearing at them.
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