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Entries in Shark Attacks (1)

Wednesday
Jul202011

North Carolina Shark Attack Girl in Good Condition

Comstock/Thinkstock(CAPE HATTERAS, N.C.) -- A 6-year-old girl is in good condition after being attacked by a shark on a North Carolina beach Tuesday evening.

The girl's parents issued a statement saying their daughter was in good spirits and had commented, "I hate sharks. I like dolphins way better."

The child was swimming with her father in shallow water when she was bitten on the right leg and part of her foot, according to Kenny Ballance of the National Park Service for Cape Hatteras. She was swimming on a boogie board in about a foot of water at the time.

Hyde County EMS, the National Park Service and the Ocracoke Fire Department responded to a call at Ramp 72 on Ocracoke Island. "The Ocracoke EMS and another park ranger, Shane Bryant, [were] on the scene right away," Ballance said. "The rescue squad began working on the little girl when ranger Bryant arrived. It was apparent that she was bitten below the knee in the foot area is the report."

Pitt Memorial Hospital flew a helicopter into Ocracoke Beach and flew the child to the hospital in Greenville.

"We were told she was in stable condition, then we called this morning to learn she's in critical condition," Ballance said.

Authorities said the last shark attack in the area, in Cape Hatteras, was a fatal one. A man was bitten in a major artery, causing him to bleed to death before aid arrived.

Ocracoke Island is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The entire island is owned by the U.S. National Park Service, except for the village.

A 10-year-old girl was attacked by a shark earlier this month in North Topsail Beach in North Carolina.

Cassidy Cartwright of Erie, Pa., like the 6-year-old victim, was also playing on a body board and was wading knee-deep in only 3.5 feet of water.

Biologist Andy Dehart told ABC News earlier this month that the murky water around the North Carolina shore is often to blame for unprovoked shark attacks in this area.

"The shark sees a flash of pale skin which has a high contrast in the dark, murky waters and often times that can confuse sharks a little bit," he said. "They bite down thinking they are biting a fish but it's a person."

The Florida Museum of Natural History keeps an international shark attack file, which was last updated in January. It shows 41 unprovoked shark attacks from 1935 to 2010.

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