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Two teens severely injured in reported shark attacks. (Photo courtesy: Jenna Chouinard (top), Steve Bouser/The Pilot in Southern Pines (bottom)

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Two teenagers were seriously injured after shark attacks this afternoon at Oak Island.

Oak Island Fire Chief Chris Anselmo said the first call came in at approximately at 4:40 p.m. near the Ocean Crest Pier. He said firefighters responded to 12-year-old female severely injured, believed to be from a shark.

“Confirmed that she has lost part of her left arm and may lose her left leg,” Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace posted on Facebook. “She and her family are not residents, but relatives of theirs are OKI residents. Please keep this girl and her family in your prayers.”

A second attack was reported east of the first near 55th Street at around 5:50 p.m., a couple of miles from the first attack location. Witnesses tell WWAY’s Taylor Yakowenko a 16-year-old male lost part of a limb in that attack.

“Tore off my shirt and I tied it around his arm,” Randy Milligan said. “And he was screaming, ‘Is this real?’ And ‘Is this a movie?’ And he just kept on screaming and we had laid him on the sand and got him calmed down and some guy came running up and we took the shirt off and he put a belt around him really tight.”

Officials said both victims were out of surgery tonight at New Hanover Regional Medical Center as of 9:30 p.m. and stable. Town Manager Tim Holloman said the beaches will be open tomorrow.

“Oak Island is still a safe place,” Holloman said. “This is highly unusual.”

“I’ve been here 16 years, and this is the first time something as major as this has happened,” Anselmo said.

These are the second and third shark bites in three days in Brunswick County. Thursday, a 13-year-old girl was bitten while boogie boarding off Ocean Isle Beach. Mayor Debbie Smith said the girl suffered a few lacerations on her foot but was not seriously hurt. The shark took two big bites out of her boogie board.


Comment on this Story

  • Two weeks ago a man was shark fishing in this exact spot and brought a seven foot shark onto the beach right in the middle of children playing in the surf. He and his friends fooled around taking photos of the shark while the shark was bending and thrashing trying to bite a chunk out of them. The shark was so big it took three of these idiots to pull him by the tail (meanwhile he is still thrashing trying to get at them) into the surf so that the shark could swim away. These bumbling idiots were standing in the water with the shark patting him on the back as he swam away. I was shocked and amazed at their foolishness. These men could have been severely injured or fatally injured as well as the people including small children injured or killed. This shark could very well have been the shark who attacked these two young teens.

    Maybe the mayor, fire chief, sheriff could at the very least prohibit shark fishing from the beach and pier with people at risk in the water. There was also talk about someone throwing chum off of the pier just prior to the attacks. This should also be prohibited.

  • Why in the heck didn’t authorities close the beaches after the first vicious attack? That poor little girl had life threatening injuries and yet the other young victim was allowed to be in nearby waters an hour after the attack. Oak Island needs to get its’ priorities straight and do it now.

    • Guest2020

      I have read reports that the people were told to get out of the water after the first attack. There is only so much a town with limited personnel can do.

  • Vog46

    Wow…thoughts and prayers are with the families.
    Beginning of the season and this happens. This is straight out of Jaws……


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