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‘I felt like my foot was inside the shark’s jaw,’ NC teen says of attack of NC beach

19-year-old injured by possible shark attack off North Carolina beach

Austin Reed, 19, was injured by what town officials called a “marine” animal bite off the beach in Ocean Isle, North Carolina. Reed's family said the teenager is expected to be “fine” following the attack.
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Austin Reed, 19, was injured by what town officials called a “marine” animal bite off the beach in Ocean Isle, North Carolina. Reed's family said the teenager is expected to be “fine” following the attack.

College student Austin Reed doesn’t mention pain when describing how it felt to be attacked by a shark Monday off Ocean Isle Beach.

“I just felt something grab onto my leg and I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Reed, 19, was quoted telling WSOC.

He offered more details in an interview with WECT, saying something unseen was pulling at him by the foot, something strong enough to drag him off his surfboard into the water.

“I felt pressure on my leg and it kind of yanked me,” he told the station. “I felt like my foot was inside the shark’s jaw.”

Reed, who is the state’s second shark bite victim this month, said he wasn’t certain in the moment what bit him, but yelled for help and a friend quickly “threw Reed on his surfboard and paddled them both to shore,” WECT said.

A large great white shark took a few bites from a Florida Keys fisherman’s chum bag this week. Great whites do not frequent the Keys, nor do they typically hang out off the South Florida island chain, but they are known to pass by.

“I asked for (my friend) to look at my foot cause I was kind of scared to look at it -- like I was scared that maybe the shark took a toe off or something,” the teen told ABC News in an interview from the hospital. “It’s pretty bad. And I looked at it and there was blood everywhere.”

His father, Wayne Reed, says the bite resulted in a nearly 10-inch cut that is believed to have occurred when his son pulled his foot from the shark’s jaws, reports WTVD.

“It looked like a knife had cut it across the left and right side of his foot,” Wayne Reed told the station.

Austin Reed, who will be a sophomore at UNC Wilmington, has undergone surgery and “is in good condition,” reported WITN.

He has been quoted by several news outlets as saying he had a premonition something bad might happen Monday, because “the water just looked kind of not really like sharky, but it just looked weird for some reason,” WITN reported.

Investigators have not yet confirmed what attacked Reed, and he has not yet said how big the shark might have been or if he even saw it.

Ever wondered what it's like to get up close and personal with a great white shark? This video of Chip Michalove tagging a great white shark off Hilton Head Island in January 2017 will take you there.

Reed’s case is the second reported attack this month, with 17-year-old Paige Winter of North Carolina losing a leg and some fingers to a shark on June 2. She was in waist-deep water off Atlantic Beach, which is about 142 miles north of where Reed was attacked.

It’s believed the shark that attacked Winter was a large bull shark and her father, Charlie Winter, said he stopped the attack by punching the shark repeatedly to make it let go of her daughter.

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