A teenager lost her leg and fingers after she was ‘dragged’ under the water by a bull shark.
Paige Winter, 19, says she was bathing in the waters of Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina, US, in June 2019, when she felt something grab on her ankle.
Appearing on National Geographic’s new docuseries, Sharkfest, she said: “I just remember being completely dragged. Like those horror movies when the person is dangling their foot over the bed and gets dragged under.
“Then he started thrashing about, like when a dog is playing with a rope and shakes it from side to side, the shark was doing that to my leg.
“It was trying to pull me out to deeper waters.
“After a split second my whole body just went numb, so I was feeling it on my leg but I really couldn’t feel my leg at all.”
Desperate to escape, Winter recollected trying to pull the shark’s jaw open ‘like a bear trap,’ but this worked for only a moment before the creature managed to bite off two of her fingers.
The teen’s dad, Charlie, then stepped in.
He said: “I remember thinking, ‘You’re trying to take her but you can’t have her,’ and one of the hits I gave it must have been good enough and it let go.”
Immediately after escaping the shark, Winter was rushed to the hospital, but at the back of her mind, she grew concerned that people would try to go after the creature.
At the time, she told her dad: “Don’t be mad at that shark. It’s just being a shark, it’s doing its shark thing.”
After being examined, the teen was then told that she’d have to have her leg amputated, as it ‘looked like it had gone through a paper shredder’.
Following a five-hour operation, Winter woke up to find her leg and fingers had been removed, as she’d also suffered nerve damage in her hands.
Although many people would have been understanding if she had developed feelings of resentment towards the shark, the 19-year-old says she still isn’t angry about the predator trying to take her life.
However, she has admitted that she sticks to pools these days.
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