The attack left him with 17 stitches and nearly 40 puncture wounds. Nick Arthur, from Oak Ridge, was enjoying a day at Cape Hatteras with his family on Thursday when the incident occurred, Fox affiliate WGHP reported. He was jumping over waves on a sandbar around 4 p.m. and was about 25 feet offshore when the animal struck, the National Park Service said.
Nick said the pressure of the bite was “intense,” and that he very quickly came to the realisation that his attacker must be an animal of some sort.
“I didn’t know what it was, so I tried lifting my leg up out of the water, and I saw, ‘Oh, my God, there’s a 5-foot long shark attached to my leg, ” he told WGHP.
“My hands were bleeding. There was just lots of blood and sand all mixed together.”
“I couldn’t really see what was going on.”
Shark Attack Beach Closure
Shark news: North Carolina has experienced 32 unprovoked attacks
Whilst Nick was in the water so was his sister and dad, Tim and said that at first, he thought his son was just having fun.
“At first I thought he was screaming out of joy, and then I looked at him and saw the shark,” he said.
“He was screaming, ‘Get it off me! Let me go!’ And I jumped into action.”
Nick frantically tried prying the shark’s mouth open so he could free his leg.
Meanwhile, Tim began punching and kicking the shark, eventually with enough force it ended up letting go of his son.
“I don’t think we did anything special, but it was enough to make him maybe realize there was easier prey out there,” Tim told WGHP.
The teen was treated for his injuries at a medical facility in Nags Head, and was released later that same night, the National Park Service said.
With nearly 40 shark bites, he reportedly received 17 stitches.
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His father Tim thought he was just “having fun” at first
“Even though it’s a small possibility, it’s still a possibility,” he told WGHP. “I thought, ‘There’s no way it’s gonna happen.’
“No one thinks it’s gonna happen to them until it happens to them.”
Since 2010, North Carolina has experienced 32 unprovoked shark attacks in the area.
This is according to a Charlotte Observer report published in July 2019.
At this point in time, they ranked fifth in the US for a number of shark attacks over the last decade.