Sharks are known to be highly skilled predators who have the ability to sneak up on their prey and ruthlessly kill them. Human beings are no match for their exceptional skills. However, there are still some people who have managed to survive a shark attack to tell their adventurous story of the encounter to the world. A similar horrifying experience was recently shared by a 19-year-old woman, Paige Winter, on the National Geographic’s SharkFest show.
The incident took place in June 2019 when Winter was enjoying a beach trip with her family on a Sunday morning. The family had gone to Fort Macon beach in North Carolina on the east coast of the United States. She was playing in shallow waters, about 50 meters from the shore, along with her elder sister and best friend Kale when she stepped on something. She then felt something grabbing her ankle. Initially, she thought her father was pulling a prank, but soon she realised that a bull shark was trying to drag her. Scared, she called out to her dad but within seconds she was already under the water. As the shark bit her leg, the sea turned red with her blood.
Winter recalled how despite the unbearable pain she tried to wrestle the predator and, in the process, also lost her two fingers. At that time, her father intervened and started punching the shark until it let go of his daughter.
The girl, then 17, was dragged to the shore and rushed to a nearby hospital. Even though she had severe, life-changing injuries to contemplate, yet at this moment she was concerned about any retribution that might be meted out to her attacker. As the morphine was being pumped into her at the back of an ambulance, she told her father not to be “mad at the shark” since it was just doing the “shark thing”.
After a five-hour-long operation, Winter woke up to two missing fingers and one of her legs amputated. But this incident did not reduce her admiration for the animals and she still campaigns for better conservation efforts.