UPDATE: Family of child attacked by shark says
she is in ‘good’ condition
County Memorial Hospital issued a statement on Wednesday evening, July
20, on behalf of the family of a 6-year-old girl who was bitten by a
shark yesterday while swimming on Ocracoke Island with her family.
daughter is in good condition after receiving a shark bite to the right
leg. The shark attack occurred in 2 feet of water on Ocracoke Island.
Mom was 10 feet away and witnessed the event. Paramedics arrived
promptly, and she received excellent medical attention from EMS
personnel, life-flight crew, and Pitt County Memorial Hospital medical
staff in Greenville. She is in good spirits, declaring this morning
that, "I hate sharks. I like dolphins way better.
this point forward, we will not be releasing any additional information
about her condition. Also, we will not be granting any media
interviews. Thank you for respecting our privacy.”
family was visiting Ocracoke when the youngster was bitten.
name has not been made public by her family or Park Service personnel
who are investigating the incident.
more about the shark attack in the story below.
UPDATE: Injured child in
critical condition after a shark attack on Ocracoke
6-year-old girl was in critical condition today at Pitt County Memorial
Hospital in Greenville after she was bitten by a shark yesterday on
According to Cape Hatteras National Seashore public information
specialist Cyndy Holda, the incident happened around 5:30 p.m. near
Ramp 72 in the area of South Point.
Holda said that the Hyde County Sheriff’s Office dispatched Hyde County
Emergency Medical Services, the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, and
National Park Service rangers to the scene.
According to park officials on the scene, the girl was on a boogie
board “in very shallow water” – about 18 inches -- when she was bitten.
Bystanders described what appeared to be a shark attacking a child,
according to Hyde County Deputy Emergency Services Director Brian
According to Paul Stevens, the seashore’s chief law enforcement ranger,
an unidentified bystander told the child’s father, that he saw a shark
“knock the girl out of the water with her leg in its mouth.”
He estimated that the shark was 4 to 5 feet long.
The girl was bitten on her lower right leg and foot and was airlifted
by EastCare to the hospital in Greenville.
The young girl was visiting the area with her family, but the Park
Service has declined to release her name since she is a minor.
Stevens added that the father, who is a medical doctor, told the park
ranger on the scene that he thought his daughter would be all right.
Stevens said no special precautions were being taken today on seashore
beaches. He said park officials think the attack was a
incident and they do not think sharks are schooling off the seashore,
as is sometimes the case on other beaches, especially in Florida.
“You have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than bitten by
a shark,” he said.
However, he added, that “It is amazing from the air how many sharks you
can see” off the seashore.
“What kind of shark was it?” Stevens asked. “Who knows?
juvenile bull shark.”
The last shark attack on the seashore was on Sept. 3, 2001, off the
beach at Avon when a 28-year-old Russian visitor was killed and his
23-year-old girlfriend critically injured.
A bull shark was suspected in that attack.
The Russian couple was swimming about 20 to 40 yards offshore on a
sandbar when the attack happened about 6 p.m. – very close to the time
of day that the child was bitten on Ocracoke.
That incident was the second fatal shark attack in the region over that
Memorial Day weekend. It came just two days after a 10-year-old boy was
fatally attacked off Sandbridge, Va.
The media jumped on the story and dubbed the year as “the summer of the
shark.” However, media attention to sharks evaporated after the Sept.
11 terrorist attacks just a week later.
Before that, the last reported fatal shark attack in North Carolina
waters came in 1957, according to the International Shark Attack File
in Gainesville, Fla.