Seventeen-year-old girl loses leg and fingers in horrific shark attack
A father was able to rescue his 17-year-old daughter from a violent shark attack by punching the animal in the face multiple times until it let go of her, according to family members.
Paige Winter was swimming in the water at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, on Sunday when she was attacked by a shark.
“It looked like she was barely crawling on the beach,” an eyewitness, Lacy Whorton said in an interview with New Bern, N.C. news station WCTI-TV.
“Everyone was screaming and they quickly got everyone out of the water.”
Atlantic Beach Emergency Medical Services arrived and treated the teen at the scene.
She was then airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, the news outlet reported.
According to a statement by Atlantic Beach Fire Department officials, she suffered "deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic, and hand areas."
While she is now out of surgery and awake, the teenager had her left leg amputated above her knee and lost “some fingers” following the attack, according to a Facebook post by her grandmother, Janet Winter.
Winter also added that Paige’s father, Charlie Winter, “punched the shark in the face five times before it let go.”
It is unclear whether Charlie sustained any injuries while saving his daughter.
Vidant Medical Center released a statement on Paige’s condition on Sunday, saying “she is in good condition and receiving excellent care.”
“Her family expresses their appreciation for the first responders, the individuals on the beach who helped and her heroic father who saved her life,” the statement reads.
Friends launched a GoFundMe to help support Paige and her family.
In just one day, the page had raised more than $30,000AUD, almost reaching its goal of $35,855AUD.
“Charlie, Paige’s father, Marine, Firefighter, and Paramedic has served his Country and his community for the last 20 years,” the GoFundMe reads.
“No donation is too small and the funds will be used to assist in the many surgeries, physical therapy, prosthetics, recovery process, and Charlie’s missed days from work.”
A Facebook post by Paige’s mother, Marcy Goodrum Winter, shows that even after sustaining such serious injuries, Paige is still optimistic.
Atlantic Beach Fire Department Deputy Chief Casey Arthur told WCTI-TV that while park services were urging people to say out of the water, officials had not officially closed the beach following the attack.
“On any given day, the ocean can be a dangerous atmosphere,” Casey he said.
“The ocean is a dangerous environment regardless of what flag colour we’re flying. It can always be a dangerous environment.”
Fort Macon State Park officials did not immediately reply to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
Yahoo Lifestyle also reached out to Marcy Goodrum Winter and Janet Winter and will update this post when we hear back.
Last week a shark was filmed stalking a swimmer in crystal clear waters at Panama City Beach in the Gulf of Mexico.
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