Teens Lose Left Arms in 2 NC Shark Attacks

Attacks happened just 2 miles apart
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2015 2:27 AM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2015 4:00 AM CDT
Teens Lose Left Arms in 2 NC Shark Attacks
People assist a teen at the scene of a shark attack in Oak Island, NC, yesterday.   (Steve Bouser/The Pilot, Southern Pines, NC, via AP)

Two teenagers lost limbs in two separate shark attacks off Oak Island, NC, yesterday—and for now, authorities do not recommend going back in the water. Authorities say the first victim, a 13-year-old girl, was attacked at around 4:40pm yesterday and lost her left arm below the elbow, as well as suffered severe damage to her left leg, NBC News reports. Not much more than an hour later, a 16-year-old was attacked around 2 miles away and lost his left arm below the shoulder, reports WECT, which gives the age of the first victim as 12. Both victims are now in stable condition after surgery, authorities say.

Oak Island's town manager says helicopters will patrol the coastline and beaches will be open today, NBC reports. He says visitors will be encouraged to stay out of the water, though few are likely to need encouragement: Witnesses to the aftermath of the first attack tell the AP it was "nightmarish" and "like a scene from Jaws." Experts tell ABC News that the severe nature of the injuries suggests that a large shark, possibly a tiger shark, is to blame. "This is the real deal threat," University of Florida shark expert George Burgess says. "This is highly unusual—I have seen this twice in 40 years. Once in Egypt and once in the Florida Panhandle." (In Florida last week, a shark was killed in a car crash.)

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