A 17-year-old who was bitten by a shark off the coast of North Carolina says ‘sharks are still good people’

A great white shark near Guadalupe Island.

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A great white shark near Guadalupe Island.
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Sharkcrew/Horizon Charters/Wikimedia Commons

  • 17-year-old Paige Winter was swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina when she was bitten by a shark.
  • Winter suffered “deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic, and hand areas.”
  • Her father was able to get the shark off of his daughter by punching it in the face several times.
  • Despite the incident, Winters says she “wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment.”

A 17 year old from New Bern, North Carolina, suffered a series of shark bites while swimming in Fort Macon State Park on the Atlantic Ocean, around noon on Sunday, according to WSOCTV.

Paige Winter had “deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic and hand areas,” according to a statement given to WCTI12 by an Atlantic Beach Fire Department official, and may potentially need to have her leg amputated. She was rescued by her father Charlie, a paramedic and firefighter, who jumped in the water and punched the shark in the face several times to release her from its grasp. After being rescued, she was flown to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina, for treatment.

Janet Winter, Paige’s grandmother, posted on Facebook that Paige would lose “one leg above the knee and some fingers.”

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A representative of Vidant Medical Center told WCTI12 that despite the incident, Paige is still an “unwavering advocate for marine life and the animals that live in the water. She wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety,” the statement said.

In 2018, there were 66 cases of unprovoked shark attacks on humans across the world, according ot hte International Shark Attack File, with 32 of them reported in the US.

The Winters family has launched a GoFundMe to help defray the cost of Paige’s treatment. Sunday evening, Marcy Winter, Paige’s mother, updated the GoFundMe with the news that her daughter was “out of surgery and awake. She’s still pretty groggy but cracking jokes. She wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people.”