Shark drags teen under before biting off fingers and leg in terrifying attack

A teen was attacked by a shark which tore off part of her leg and two of her fingers.

Paige Winter, 21, was targeted as she bathed in the waters off Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina, the US, in June 2019.

She felt something grab her ankle and initially thought her dad was joking with her.

However, the bull shark then dragged Paige under the water, with her dad punching it five times in the nose.

She was rushed to hospital, where surgeons were forced to amputate her left leg above the knee, the Daily Mirror reports.

Paige has relived the horrific experience in June 2019 in a documentary as part of this month’s National Geographic’s SharkFest series.

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.

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“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.”

As she felt the shark’s teeth in her leg, she tried to prise its jaw open “like a bear trap”.

The shark let go for a moment and then bit down again, this time chomping off two of her fingers.

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At this point, Paige's dad Charlie, a former Marine turned firefighter, had rushed to help his daughter and was trying to wrestle her away from the shark’s grip.

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.

Charlie remembered the shark “looking at me sideways, and it had this black eye that was just staring. There was nothing in it, it was just black".

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As Paige was speeding to hospital in the back of an ambulance, she was more worried that people might go after the shark.

She took a quick look at her leg, which "looked like it had gone through a paper shredder".

She told her dad: “Don’t be mad at that shark. It’s just being a shark, it’s doing its shark thing.”

Paige underwent a five-hour operation, waking up to discover her leg and two fingers had been amputated.

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She now has nerve damage in both her hands.

Dr Mike Heithaus, a marine ecologist on the documentary, says Paige’s attacker was almost certainly a bull shark, probably lurking in the waters because they had turned murky after heavy rainfall the night before.

Paige, whoseInstagrambio reads Shark bait, says she still has no hard feelings against the fearsome predator that nearly took her life.

However, she doesn’t want to get back in the water and now “prefers pools”.

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