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UPDATE: Girl bitten by shark off Ocracoke Island upgraded to good condition

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OCRACOKE, N.C. (WCTI) -- A girl who survived a shark attack was described as being in good condition, according to a statement released by her family 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.

To read more on this story go to http://www.wcti12.com/news/28603211/detail.html

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OCRACOKE, N.C. (ABCNews) - A 6-year-old girl is in critical condition after being attacked by a shark on a North Carolina beach Tuesday evening.

The child was swimming with her father in shallow water when she was bitten on the right leg and part of her foot, according to Kenny Ballance of the National Park Service for Cape Hatteras.

The child was swimming on a boogie board in about a foot of water.

Hyde County EMS, the National Park Service and the Ocracoke Fire Department responded to a call at Ramp 72 on Ocracoke Island.

"The Ocracoke EMS and another park ranger, Shane Bryant, [were] on the scene right away," Ballance said. "The rescue squad began working on the little girl when ranger Bryant arrived. It was apparent that she was bitten below the knee in the foot area is the report."

Pitt Memorial Hospital flew a helicopter into Ocracoke Beach and flew the child to the hospital in Greenville.

"We were told she was in stable condition, then we called this morning to learn she's in critical condition," Ballance said.

Authorities said the last shark attack in Cape Hatteras was a fatal one.

"The last shark attack in Cape Hatteras was in 2004 and that was in one of the villages north of us here," Ballance said. "... the guy was bitten in a major artery and he bleed to death before we were able to get to him."

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.

Shark Attacks in North Carolina

A 10-year-old girl was attacked by a shark earlier this month in North Topsail Beach in North Carolina.

Cassidy Cartwright of Erie, Pa., like the 6-year-old victim, was also playing on a body board and was wading knee-deep in only 3.5 feet of water.

"It pulled me down, and it hurt," Cartwright told ABC News affiliate WWAY. "I just thought it was somebody messing around, and I found out that it wasn't because it pulled me down again."

Cartwright's mother, Carolyn, who rescued her daughter with the help of a friend, described the scene as "bloody."

"Together we got her out, but when we pulled out of the water her leg was wide open and it was just ... a lot of blood," Carolyn told WWAY.

Biologist Andy Dehart told ABC News earlier this month that the murky water around the North Carolina shore is often to blame for unprovoked shark attacks in this area.

"The shark sees a flash of pale skin which has a high contrast in the dark, murky waters and often times that can confuse sharks a little bit." he said. "They bite down thinking they are biting a fish but it's a person."

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 to 2010.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Shark attacks

Swimmers need to be aware that most shark attacks take place in knee deep water. You don't have to be paranoid; just be aware of what is going on around you.

Boogie Boards in Salt Water

Boogie Boards for kids to play in the salt water with/on, resemble a seal ( when a child in on top of one ). Seals are a sharks favorite meal. Parents also know this is to be true & ( especially out on the West Coast )& sharks can be found in all oceans . It boils down to either parents acting irresponsible or being unattentive to a deadly reality around salt water.

east coast...

As far as west coast sharks go, you'll notice them by the Oakland Raider bandannas they'll wear. Be very careful around these sharks as they often have alias' & can cross right back into Mexico without ever being noticed. Concerning the boogie boards, we mainly have beaver here in NC waters and not that many seals. East coast male sharks prefer beaver, whether in the shape of a boogie board or not. This time of year be careful around Wrightsville beach where beaver can be spotted in shallow water or even on the adjacent surf. Ironically, male sharks will be deterred from the beaver by children in the water, therefore it was a female shark that bit the child in question.

Accident

Hello Huber, as of right now there are millions of people in the ocean with their children. Inside the ocean there are also sharks.

Right now there are millions of children walking the street; there are also pedophiles all over the place. However, you can't lock your child inside, you just do the best you can to protect it. Same as these parents did by being side by side with their child.

The parents were enjoying a vacaton and a shark mistakenly bit the child, this is an accident, however, a very sad one. There have been just over 60 shark incidents in North Carolina in 40 years. Only one of those was fatal. These parents were NOT irresponsible, they were just enjoying a vacation. The child could have easily been injured about 1000x by other conventional means, however, this was an accident and a matter of mistaken identity.

Apparently, in your paranoid dillusions and hyper sensitivity you have the right to stay home, lock your doors and feel completely secluded from the rest of functioning America. I hope you stay there.

Now, sharks on the east coast, in summer waters do not even know what a go*damn seal is. They are completely different then the massive sharks you see on the discovery channel leaping out of the water. Those are Great White sharks which inhabit waters that are around 20-30 degrees cooler. Though sometimes Great Whites do come to the East Coast, its normally in northern colder water or in colder months.

Having that said, the only thing irresponsible here was your idiotic and un-educated response.

Really?

Yes, because there are SO many seals on the East Coast!? What is irresponsible is your uneducated post.

Wow

You're kidding right? Irresponsible or unattentive. Parents put their kids at a much greater risk every time they take them to an amusement park or even for a car ride compared to playing in the ocean on a boogie board.

Have you been to California or Hawaii? Kids are put on boogie boards and surfboards at very young ages. It's a small risk people who love the ocean are willing to take.

Irresponsible or unattentive would be letting a child enter the ocean who could not swim, not the minute possibility of a shark attack.

Some people really should just stay inside. It's much safer for you there.

okay

You need to read a book on sharks and stop watching Shark Week. There are not many seals in our area for one, Great white sharks like to feed on them among a few others, so to say sharks as a whole like to eat seals is false. I am sure this was not an attack by great white. Shark attacks are very rare on humans, so it would not have even crossed the parents mind. Stop blaming others, there is no need to blame anyone. Just hope that this young girl makes it out alive.