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Two shark attacks increase some souvenir sales


OAK ISLAND BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Oak Island Beach businesses are speaking out about the effects of two shark attacks.

A 12 and a 16-year-old lost limbs after being bitten Sunday afternoon.

“It hits everyone hard,” Holbrooks Real Estate Broker Pete Key said.

From the real estate agents to the businesses, two life threatening shark attacks are affecting everyone.

“It’s been kind of eerie,” Kings Beachwear Manager Shanna Campbell said. “I think a lot of people are just kind of shook up about it.”

Campbell says visitors have been trying to find other things to do.

“I think people aren’t looking to go in the water,” Campbell said.

While her business has not declined, she says certain products have.

“Boogie boards have definitely been on the down,” Campbell said.

She says others are going gone up.

“A lot of people have been buying a lot of shark shirts and shark shot glasses and that kind of stuff,” Campbell said. “A lot of people have kind of been joking about it like, ‘Is it too soon for this?'”

Holbrooks Real Estate Broker Pete Key says it is not affecting his industry.

“When you are talking about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, a one time event like this, I don’t think people are going to calculate that into their purchasing or their vacation,” Key said.

He says it is affecting him as a resident though.

“All four of my kids were in the water at the time, so it kind of hit me a little hard,” Key said.

He says it is something affecting many across the island and will only heal with time.

“People are concerned,” Key said. “They’re scared a little bit, but it’s a healing process like anything that traumatic happens.”

Many residents and visitors say they will continue to stay out of the water for a few weeks.

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