Two teenagers who sustained severe injuries in separate shark attacks around the same stretch of North Carolina beach are reportedly in stable condition, according to local officials.
One of the victims, a 13-year-old girl, lost her arm after being bitten by a shark. The incident occurred at around 4:40 p.m. in Oak Island, Brunswick County officials said.
Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace said in a Facebook post that the girl, other than losing part of her arm, may also lose her left leg.
After an hour, a call was received by EMS that another victim had fallen prey to a shark attack. A 16-year-old boy was mauled by a shark two miles away from where the girl was attacked. Mayor Wallace said that the boy may have lost his arm.
According to ABC News, the victims were transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Officials said that they were wheeled out of surgery in stable condition.
Steve Bouser and his wife, who were visiting the beach as part of their week long vacation, could hear people screaming, “Come in! Get out of the water! Get out of the water!”
Bouser said, “I saw someone carry this girl (out of the water) and people were swarming around and trying to help.
“It was quite terrible.”
People kept asking the girl questions to keep her conscious. Bouser said that the girl had bled a lot.
It was “quite nightmarish,” he said.
Bouser’s wife, Brenda, said, “It was so much like a scene from Jaws,” as reported by Fox News.
Jason Hunter, a witness, said that the shark that attacked the boy was seven or eight feet in length. Mayor Wallace said that although it hasn’t been determined yet, “common sense would tell you it was the same shark.”
The incidents occurred during a high tide around the vicinity of Ocean Crest Pier. The beach was “packed” during this time of year, Wallace said.
As the pier is a popular fishing spot, it is suspected that bait in the water could have drawn the sharks in.
According to CNN, Fire Chief Chris Anselmo said that while beaches will remain open for public on Monday, helicopters from the sheriff’s office will be supervising the coast.
During summers, the population of Oak Island increases from 7,000 to 25,000, Anselmo said.
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