A 17-year-old who was attacked by a shark was saved by her father, who punched the animal repeatedly until it released her.
Paige Winter, 17, was enjoying a day at the beach with her family at Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina over the weekend when she got pulled under the water.
Fortunately her father, Charlie, a firefighter and paramedic, sprang into action. "He punched the shark in the face [five] times before it let go," Paige’s grandmother posted on social media.
The teenager’s dad is being praised for saving his daughter's life. Sadly, the teen's left leg had to be amputated above the knee. She also lost several fingers in the attack.
Still, Winter is recovering from surgery and is said to be in good spirits, cracking jokes and harboring no ill will toward sharks.
"I will be OK," she said in a statement from the hospital. "I know I have a long road to recovery, which includes additional surgeries. I will continue to stay positive and be thankful that it was not worse."
Paige was attacked by a bull shark, which are considered even more dangerous than great white sharks. They're an aggressive species that hunt along shorelines/
Joe Yaiullo, curator and co-founder at the Long Island Aquarium, said the girl’s brave dad did the right thing.
"Paige’s dad did exactly what you're supposed to do. You are in the fight for your life. You want to start throwing punches, whatever you can, especially in the head region.
"No one likes to be poked in the eye," he continued. "Hitting in that region will end the fight and they will swim on."
Yaiullo has tips to minimize your chance of being a target.
"Avoid swimming at dawn and dusk, avoid wearing shiny jewelry, which will attract their attention," he said. "Also, use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
"You are entering their realm."