Girl, 17, bitten by shark in Atlantic Beach, officials say

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. -- A 17-year-old girl was bitten by a shark at Fort Macon State Park on Sunday afternoon, a park ranger said.

It happened before 12:30 p.m., park ranger Paul Terry told WCTI.

Atlantic Beach fire officials said the girl, later identified as Paige Winter, suffered "severe injuries to her leg and hands" but did not confirm the injuries were from a shark, only saying they were from a "marine animal bite."

The teen was flown to Vidant Medical Center for treatment.

According to the Atlantic Beach Fire Marshal, she "sustained deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic, and hand areas."

Vidant Health said Sunday evening that she is " in good condition and receiving excellent care."

According to a statement from the hospital, her family expressed appreciation for "the individuals on the beach who helped and her heroic father who saved her life."

The statement said, in part: "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 fire department said it "cannot confirm what type of marine life was involved until further information is received from specialists and marine biologists."
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