Cassidy Cartwright, 10, was bitten on her lower right leg by a shark while standing in 3.5 feet of water at North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, US. The unprovoked attack happened on Sunday 26 June 2011. The species of shark is not known.
She was playing with her bodyboard when the shark bit her and dragged her down.
“It pulled me down, and it hurt. I just thought it was somebody messing around, and I found out that it wasn’t ‘cause it pulled me down again,” she was quoted as saying.
“My leg was cut wide open and it was bleeding really badly,” she said.
She was brought ashore by her mother with the help of a friend. They wrapped a towel around the wound. Paramedics called a helicopter to airlift her to UNC Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill.
Her mother said that at first she thought she had stepped on something in the water. She fell once. Then she fell again … then she saw all the blood in the water.
“Together we got her out, but when we pulled [her] out of the water her leg was wide open and it was just… a lot of blood,” her mother was quoted as saying.
“At that point I guess we assumed it was a shark bite, but it wasn’t until we got to UNC [where] they found a shark tooth in her leg,” she said. Doctors found the tip of a shark tooth in the wound.
The shark attack severed Cassidy’s Achilles tendon and two others and took a piece out of her ankle bone.
She underwent five hours of surgery. She is expected to walk again but whether she will have full use of her ankle is uncertain, according to her mother.
In a strange twist of fate, her mother bought the boogie board the day they arrived at North Topsail Beach from a store named Shark Attack. Her other took a photo of her daughter and a friend in the mouth of a shark model at the store.
PIC Source: still from video on Goerie.com