Two kids are out of surgery and now in stable condition after nearly fatal encounters with sharks on Sunday at a beach on Oak Island, North Carolina. In a press conference on Monday morning, new information about the shark attacks was released.
The first victim, a 12-year-old girl vacationing on the island lost part of her left arm and her left leg after being attacked while boogie-boarding, reported Fox News on Sunday. And about an hour later, a 16-year-old boy was attacked and lost his entire left arm.
“You’ve got this nice beach scene going on, and the next moment is just a nightmare,” witnesses Steve and Brenda Bouser said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It was so much like a scene from Jaws.”
Both the teenagers were in waist-deep water, Fox News reported Monday morning, which is where sharks tend to hunt. There’s currently a seasonal migration of sharks in North Carolina.
It’s more than likely that the perpetrators were either bull or tiger sharks, George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research told the Star News Online on Sunday. These breeds usually range from 12 to 17 feet in length and aren’t typically found on the North Carolina coast.
Both victims were airlifted to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center and underwent serious surgical procedures.
“These were bites that were very much intentional by sharks,” Burgess told Star News Online. He classified it as a “mistaken identity situation” — the sharks probably mistook the splashing of arms and legs for prey.
The victims were swimming right next to a famous fishing pier, and Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’ expert, Joe Rameiro, told Fox News on Monday that the bait in the water may very well have attracted the sharks to the area.
Although the attacks “happened so quickly” that there wasn’t enough time to notify all the swimmers, according to Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace, beach-goers were quick to respond, making tourniquets to stop the bleeding, keeping her conscious and notifying first responders.