ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. -- A 17-year-old girl is in the hospital after being bitten by a shark while swimming at Atlantic Beach. 

  • The teen suffered deep tears to her leg, pelvis and hands.
  • She was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center for treatment. 
  • Hospital staff members say she is in good condition. 

The young woman has been identified as Paige Winter.

It happened shortly before 12:30 p.m. Sunday near the Fort Macon State Park bathhouse. Authorities tell us that Paige Winter of New Bern suffered deep tears to her leg, pelvis and hands. She was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center for treatment.  

Image of Paige Winter

Paige was reportedly about waist deep when she was attacked by the shark, which is described as being the size of a car.

"It looked like she was belly crawling on the beach and officials were running towards her and whistles were blowing and everyone was screaming and they quickly got everybody out of the water," said Lacy Whorton, who witnessed the attack.

Paige's father, a paramedic with the Havelock Fire Rescue Station, reportedly began "punching the shark over and over again," according to a family friend.

According to a gofundme set up for Paige by the Havelock Fire Rescue Station to help her family with medical expenses.

Vidant staff members say Winter is currently in good condition, though amputation was performed on the left leg above her knee.

Despite the attack, Paige remains an unwavering supporter of marine life and encourages us all to respect sharks and their safety.

"She wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people," said Paige's mother, according to the gofundme page.

A fundraiser will be held at New Bern High School at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, where students will be performing one-act skits they've been working on for about two months, and offering a chance for donations to support Paige and her family.

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