The Short of It
Within 90 minutes and 2 miles of each other, two kids—a 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy—were victims of shark attacks off Oak Island, N.C. Thankfully, both survived, but they've each had to have an arm amputated.
Both children were in waist-deep water when they were bitten, and one bystander said it was like a scene from the movie "Jaws." Luckily, both kids were rescued from the water immediately and were given first aid quickly. The boy's arm was amputated below the shoulder; the girl's arm was amputated below the elbow, and she experienced trauma to her leg as well.
Local officials are still unsure whether the kids were attacked by the same shark or two separate ones. After the incidents, a helicopter search found two large sharks swimming in the area.
If it seems like you've heard of more shark attacks than usual lately, you're right; you have. According to USA Today, there's a slight uptick due to a combination of factors: more people getting in the water, an increase in the great white shark population, and climate change conditions that affect sharks' habitats.
Still, shark attacks are relatively rare; North Carolina beaches are still open, and they're not telling people to stay out of the ocean.
"No way that we are going to stop people from going into the water," said Chris Anselmo, Oak Island fire chief. "(We) just advise people to be careful and alert."
If you do head to the beach, stay in groups; keep away from areas where people are fishing; and avoid the water in the morning, in the evening when it's dark, and if you're bleeding. But if you'd prefer to stay dry and just relax under an umbrella for now, we don't blame you.
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