Win FREE trip to see Ellen Show in LA

‘His arm was clean off:’ Teens lose limbs in shark attack on Oak Island, NC beach

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OAK ISLAND, NC --A 12-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy each lost an arm Sunday in separate shark attacks at the same North Carolina beach.

Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace told CNN that the female swimmer was attacked first, around 4:15 p.m. Less than 90 minutes later, as responders were still tending to her, the boy was then attacked.

beach

A helicopter hopper flies above the beach where two teenagers lost limbs in separate shark attacks Sunday.

"His arm was clean off," said witness Jason Hunter, who spoke with CNN affiliate WWAY.

Both victims were airlifted to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Both arrived in critical condition, according to hospital spokeswoman Martha Harlan.

Harlan said they've each had an arm amputated; his below the shoulder, hers at the elbow. The female also sustained serious tissue damage to her leg, according to Harlan.

Both patients -- whose names are not being released -- have since been upgraded to fair condition.

Jason Hunter

Jason Hunter

Wallace told CNN that shark attacks are so rare at Oak Island -- a southerly facing beach town on the state's southern most coast -- that she couldn't remember one occurring before Sunday.

Witness Jason Hunter told CNN affiliate WWAY that the shark in the attack on the boy was seven or eight feet long. And although the mayor said they are not certain, "common sense would tell you it was the same shark," she said.

Both incidents occurred at high tide in the vicinity of Ocean Crest Pier, a popular destination among beach goers. "At the pier this time of year, I'm sure the beach was packed," said Wallace.

The pier is also a popular spot to fish from, meaning there was likely bait in the water that would could have attracted sharks.

witness

A sheriff's department boat searches the waters off Oak Island for sharks.

Google Map for coordinates 33.916562 by -78.161106.

Oak Island

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.