ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. — A teenage girl was bitten by a shark while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina Sunday.
The teen was bitten at Fort Macon State Park near Atlantic Beach. Park ranger Paul Terry told CNN affiliate WCTI the girl was bitten while swimming at the beach around 12:20 p.m.
Atlantic Beach Fire Department responded to the park and officials said in a news release that the teen suffered “deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic and hand areas.”
After being treated by Atlantic Beach EMS at the scene, the teen was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.
Vidant Medical Center identified her as 17-year-old Paige Winter, of New Bern, according to WCTI.
Winter released a statement on Monday through Vidant Medical Center on her progress.
“I would like to thank everyone for reaching out and helping me the last 24 hours as a result of the shark attack that occurred at Fort Macon on June 2,” the statement said. “Although I have extensive injuries, including an amputated leg and damage to my hands, I will be okay.”
Winter said: “Thank you to the care team at Vidant Medical Center who is continuing to provide excellent care. 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.”
In an earlier statement from Vidant Medical Center sent to WCTI, the hospital confirmed that Winter was recovering from a shark attack and expressed her family’s gratitude to the first responders and beachgoers who helped save her life.
“Despite this unfortunate circumstance, Paige is an unwavering advocate for the marine life and the animals who live in the water. She wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety,” the statement said.
The beach at Fort Macon State Park, which shut down after the attack, was scheduled to reopen Monday morning, according to Katie Hall, spokeswoman for the state Division of Parks and Recreation.
This incident came a week after a 65-year-old man died in a shark attack while swimming off the coast of Maui in Hawaii.