North Carolina Shark Attack Victim Hunter Treschl Bravely Speaks Out About The Moment He Was Attacked — VIDEO
A Colorado teenager who lost most of his left arm in a vicious shark attack off the coast of North Carolina on Sunday said he didn’t see the predator coming. According to a video interview released by authorities at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Hunter Treschl felt something bump against his leg in the waist-deep water at Oak Island Beach before looking down to see the shark take off his arm. The 16-year old was the second victim of a life-threatening shark attack at the same beach Tuesday; only an hour and a half before, a 12-year-old girl from Asheboro, North Carolina, suffered serious bites to her arm and leg. Both teens were evacuated by helicopter to the nearby hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina, where the medical team worked to stabilize them.
Treschl had the remainder of his left arm amputated beneath the shoulder, and doctors confirmed that they had amputated Kiersten Yow's arm beneath the elbow
In a press conference, Brunswick County Emergency Director Brian Watts credited beachside bystanders for their quick thinking after the attacks to staunch the bleeding and take care of both Treschl and Yow until the ambulance teams could arrive. The girl’s family reportedly used a boogie board string as a tourniquet to slow the blood loss.
"The bystanders, to go ahead and start the process of stopping the bleeding, that was the biggest concern with these patients," Watts said. "Without that, we would have had a different outcome."
On Tuesday evening, the New Hanover Regional Medical Center released video footage of Treschl speaking from his hospital bed. Appearing calm and in good spirits, the teenager talked through the attack and thanked the medical staff and ambulance teams who took care of him.
According to the 911 dispatch records, Yow lost her left hand to a shark around 4:12 pm; the second attack that took Treschl's arm happened shortly before 5:30 pm. Authorities cannot say whether or not the same shark was involved in both incidents.
Treschl was swimming about in waist-deep water off shore with his cousin when he says he felt something bump against his leg:
I felt this kind of big hit on my left leg — like it was a big fish coming near you — and I felt it one more time and it just kind of hit my arm.
But he didn’t see the shark coming. Instead, it was only when he felt something tugging at his arm and looked down that he saw the shark take his left forearm off.
“That was the first that I saw it when it was biting up my left arm, kind of,” Treschl said. “And then it got that off eventually.”
According to Randy Milligan, who was on Oak Island Beach when Treschl was attacked, the shark broke the surface of the water and bit off most of the kid’s arm in one fell swoop.
"He looked like he was waving at his friends," Milligan told ABC News. "Then the shark just came out of the water and like you snap your fingers — bit his whole arm off."
Treschl said that he couldn’t tell whether or not the shark swam away immediately after the mistaken bite, but he was free to move and was able to clamor out of the water with the help of his cousin.
Now confronted with the prospect of living the rest of his life with only one hand, Treschl said that he didn’t want to give up. Instead, he said, he would “try to fight and live a normal life with the cards I’ve been dealt.”
For all the chaos that followed Sunday’s two attacks on Oak Island, local authorities stressed that shark attacks remain statistically quite rare. According to National Geographic, sharks only kill one person about every two years, and the average beachgoer's chances of tussling with a shark big enough to do serious damage is one in 11.5 million.
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