Shark Attack Victim: 'I hate sharks. I like dolphins way better.'
Family Statement Says Girl In 'Good Condition' After Shark Attack
OCRACOKE -- A girl who survived a shark attack was described as being in good condition, according to a statement released by her family on Wednesday.
Just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, rescue workers responded to a call on Ocracoke Island about a young girl being attacked by a shark. Witnesses said that they saw what appeared to be a shark attacking a little girl in the South Point area, according to Hyde County Deputy Emergency Services Director Brian Carter.
The 6-year-old girl was in shallow water on a boogie board; her mother and father were there as well, officials from the National Park Service said. Late Wednesday afternoon, the family of that girl released a statement saying that the girl was in good condition after the attack.
Statement From The Family
Our daughter is in good condition after receiving a shark bite to the right leg. The shark attack occurred in two feet of water on Ocracoke Island. Mom was ten feet away and witnessed the event. Paramedics arrived promptly and she received excellent medical attention from EMS personnel, life-flight crew, and Pitt County Memorial Hospital medical staff in Greenville. She is in good spirits, declaring this morning that, "I hate sharks. I like dolphins way better."
From this point forward, we will not be releasing any additional information about her condition. Also, we will not be granting any media interviews. Thank you for respecting our privacy.
The girl was bitten on the lower portion of her right leg and on her foot. The girl was flown via East Care to Pitt County Memorial Hospital. She was listed in critical condition as of Wednesday morning, but had improved to good condition by the afternoon.
Hyde County EMS, National Park Service, and Ocracoke Fire Department responded to the call.
No one has reported a shark attack in Ocracoke for more than 35 years. Swimmers are still told to be vigilant.
"We know for a fact that sharks feed close to the shore late in the afternoon, into the evenings and early early mornings," said U.S. National Parks Ranger Kenny Ballance.
Ocracoke Island is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The entire island is owned by the U.S. National Park Service, except for the village.
The most common types of shark found close to shore in North Carolina include sandbar, bull, scallop hammerhead and sharpnose, according to the North Carolina Aquariums.
People on the beach spotted several sharks thrashing in the waters off Ocracoke as recent as Sunday. The National Parks Service says it will not be able to determine what kind of shark bit the girl because of murky water.
Because of medical privacy concerns, the victim's name is not being released.
The Florida Museum of Natural History keeps an International Shark Attack File, which was last updated in January. It shows 41 unprovoked shark attacks from 1935-2010.