Our article on a reported and alleged shark attack in Atlantic Beach NC at Fort Macon State Park is breaking news and all information on this report is still developing. The information contained in this article is likely to be changed as we learn more information.
A verified GoFundMe is now active for the young teenager involved in this incident. The family of the 17 year old girl in this attack identified her via social media as Paige Winter of New Bern High School.
9:37 pm: Officials are reporting that the teenager involved in this incident is out of surgery, awake, and communicating with family, friends, and staff.
5:10 pm: Officials are reporting that the 17 year old teenager involved in this incident is undergoing surgery at Vidant Medical Center.
3:45 pm: Town officials are now confirming that the teen bitten is a 17 year old female and not 14 years old that earlier reports indicated.
3:17 pm: Officials in Atlantic Beach NC are now calling this a “Marine Animal Bite” which likely means this is not a VERIFIED shark bite. Additionally, the teenage in this incident was flown to Vidant Hospital in Greenville NC from Carteret Health Care and early reports are that she has deep lacerations to the leg, pelvic area, and hands.
On June 2, 2019 around 1 pm news of a reported shark attack at Fort Macon State Park hit social media. The incident involves a 14 year old girl who was swimming in the area. It is not known if the girl is local to Carteret County NC or is visiting the area. The girl was transported to Carteret Health Care for evaluation and treatment.
Additionally, we have no verified information on the extent of the girl’s injuries or what type of shark was involved. Again, this breaking news is very preliminary and we are monitoring the situation.
Are shark attacks along Bogue Banks beaches common? The short answer is no. There are several species of sharks that are common to this area and they are always swimming near the beach but for them to bite or attack a human is quite rare despite these incidents getting a lot of media attention.
Adding fuel to the speculation surrounding this alleged attack is a prominent research organization that tags sharks to study their migration and mating habits recently reported that several Great White Sharks are swimming in the waters of the Outer Banks area. At this time, there is absolutely no evidence this reported attack at Fort Macon is a Great White Shark Attack. Species of sharks that are common to the beaches of Atlantic Beach are the blacktip, tiger, sand, and bull shark. While two of these species are noted to be quite aggressive, it is still rare for them to attack humans. When there is contact between humans and sharks, it is usually the case that a shark was intending to eat what they thought was a part of their natural prey and disengage from humans when there is a bite.
Moreover, the waters around Fort Macon State Park is in close proximity to deep shipping channels near the Beaufort Inlet which allows for a diverse amount of fish that sharks prey on, so it is not out of the ordinary for this incident to happen near Fort Macon.