Shark Attack Victim Tells Story
Cary Family Who Frequents Beach Reacts
POSTED: 12:10 pm EDT July 19, 2005
UPDATED: 4:51 pm EDT July 19, 2005
HOLDEN BEACH, N.C. -- A 22-year-old man was injured when a shark attacked him at Holden Beach, a hot spot for a lot of vacationers from the Triangle.
Chris Humphrey, Shark Attack Victim
Chris Humphrey and his friend Phillip Seal showed NBC-17 the raft they were using Friday when the shark attacked. Seal was inside the raft at the time, and Humphrey was in the water, holding on to the raft with one hand.
"(The shark) just clamped down on my arm and, at the time, it was such a sharp pain it just felt like razor blades," Humphrey recalled. "I wasn't sure what was going on."
Humphrey said his first response was to just get whatever was on his arm off of it.
"So, I came back ... and all I could see was white. I hit something, and I felt the side of its body hit my body and it was off," Humphrey said. "It was all over in three seconds, all so quick."
Seal said he saw the front of the shark, its head, but did not see the fin come up.
"When I was kicking my feet, I had come down on it and I had actually kicked the back of it," Seal said. "When Chris was running back and I was kicking my feet ... he said, 'I'm bit,' and I saw blood."
When the Humphrey and Seal returned to shore, Humphrey's parents wrapped his arm in a towel and called 911. The six-inch gash required stitches, and pieces of the shark's teeth had to be removed in surgery. Humphrey is now keeping the teeth in a jar.
"I'm just really thankful," Humphrey said. "I still have all my fingers and (the shark) didn't get my leg or the side of my body. I think about it, and it's just really weird that I was bitten by a shark. I never thought it would happen to me."
Humphrey said it's still too soon to tell if he'll have nerve damage in his arm.
Meanwhile, the attack has made one Cary family a little worried about their next trip to the beach.
The Tamblyns told NBC-17 the attack happened just a half-mile from where they stay every year. Marjorie Tamblyn said with three girls, ages 11, 13, and 16, they're careful.
"We don't really allow them to go in the water by themselves," Tamblyn said. "(We tell them) times of the day to be in the ocean, not to wear shiny jewelry and not to wear bathing suits with sparkly things on them."
One of the Tamblyn daughters, Alexandra, is a lifeguard. She said she's glad she wasn't working where the shark bite occurred.
"I'm so glad I'm not a lifeguard over there," Alexandra Tamblyn said. "It's already tough enough job to lifeguard and the ocean, especially, is a really stressful job. (The shark attack) is just surprising and it kind of scares me."
But, the Tamblyns said the attack would not stop them from returning to Holden Beach for a tenth year.