First responders describe Oak Island shark attacks


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.

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“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.