OAK ISLAND, N.C. — Two teenagers were seriously injured in two separate shark attacks in the same North Carolina town on Sunday, terrifying beach goers and prompting one shocked witness to compare the scene to the movie “Jaws.”
Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace told WECT-6 that the first victim, a girl, lost part of her arm and could lose her left leg. Just over an hour later, a 16-year-old boy also was attacked by a shark and was airlifted to a hospital, Wallace said. He lost an arm.
“I saw someone carry this girl [out of the water] and people were swarming around and trying to help,” Steve Bouser, who was just beginning his weeklong beach vacation, told The Associated Press.
The girl was bleeding heavily, and people applied makeshift tourniquets while asking her questions to try to keep her conscious.
It was “quite nightmarish,” Bouser said.
“It was so much like a scene from ‘Jaws,’ ” his wife Brenda Bouser added, referring to the 1975 thriller about a giant man-eating white shark.
Local officials sent an all-terrain-vehicle to get everyone out of the water, and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s office was planning to have a helicopter patrol the coastline, the mayor said.
Wallace said Sunday evening that she had no further information on the girl’s condition. The girl is not from Oak Island but was visiting family, the mayor said.
Brunswick County dispatchers said they received the first call at 4:12 p.m., and agencies including Oak Island Police and the Air Link Helicopter went to the scene.
The second shark attack was reported at 5:30 p.m.