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One woman's trip to Holden Beach was anything but a vacation

READ MORE: One woman's trip to Holden Beach was anything but a vacation
A beach vacation is supposed to be a quiet escape from reality. For Julia Mittelberg, her visit to Holden Beach was anything but. The Illinois woman did not expect this. “I felt like something was grabbing me really quick, and it chomped down for a second bite. I realized those were teeth and I swam away as fast as I could and was screaming very loud,” described Mittelberg. That chomp, was a shark bite. It is a threat not often thought about on a trip to the beach. But off many area beaches, it is swimmer beware. “There are no lifeguards here,” said Holden Beach Police Chief Wally Layne. “It is swim at your own risk, which is pretty much the way it is in the state of North Carolina.” One day later at the scene of the attack, swimmers still ventured into the water, not phased by the threat of sharks. Vacationer Stanley Jones said, “The sharks were here yesterday, just like they are today and just like they will be tomorrow. And probably this water's the safest on the coast today, because how many times do you hear of getting bit twice?” But sharks are not the only seaside danger posed by Mother Nature. Chief Layne said he is more concerned about the high risk of rip currents than he is about shark bites. “You're much more likely to get caught in a rip current than get bitten by a shark,” he said. While dozens of people lose their lives in rip currents off southeastern North Carolina each year, shark bites are rarely fatal. As far as Julia is concerned, she's recovering just fine. “I'm very thankful. The Lord has definitely blessed me. I have full mobility and sensation. So I'm very thankful for that,” she said. Julia is now on her way back to Illinois. She said she plans to make her annual trip to Holden Beach again next year.

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What's sad, is people

What's sad, is people fishing having someone take their anchor out past the sand bar, to help them catch a shark, only to release the shark back into the shallow water thus increasing the risk of people swimming to be attacked. There is always that danger, but why enable it.

Angel get a clue

Throw a line out at night from shore, you will catch more sharks then anything else. That is the funniest response I have seen posted on here in a long time....releasing them closer to shore and enabling shark attacks ahhaha

Sharks near shore

Fishermen don't necessarily catch them at sea and bring them closer to shore. Sharks can easily navigate to shallow water on their own. Last time I was at Holden (about 2 weeks ago) I saw a fisherman at the Point (who was standing on a sand bar at low tide) catch a three-foot shark (sand shark most likely). No boat/ship necessary. Like the surfer said, it's the ocean - not a pool or lake. It's part of the experience.

shark bite?

As a long time surfer in this area, folks need to remember something... You're swimming in THEIR grocery store! It happens, but it's not very common. It is also best to avoid swimming in areas where there are large schools of fish "running". Sharks, blues, and Barracuda tend to chase these schools, and if you are in the path, well....

Most likely not.

It was most likely a bluefish, not a shark. Bluefish bites are common, shark bites not so much...and a shark wouldn't have bitten her twice. They tend to spit humans out.


are we ABSOLUTELY sure it was a shark?

She has over 40 stitches,

She has over 40 stitches, around her ankle and across the top of her foot plus lacerations on the bottom of her foot. Sounds shark-like to me.