A TEENAGER was pretending to be a mermaid in shallow water when a shark ripped off her leg – and the only thing that saved her was her father’s heroics.
Paige Winter was playing “mermaids” with her father’s friend’s seven-year-old son on Fort Macon Beach in North Carolina when the terrifying shark attack took place.
The then 17-year-old, whose father heroically punched the shark five times in the nose before taking it to safety in June 2019, lost her leg in the horrific incident.
Now, at the age of 20, Paige shared her experience with LadBibleTV’s No Filter.
Paige told the news outlet the shark attack happened on “just another beach day” as Fort Macon State Park was a typical hangout for her family.
She explained how her family “everyone had a really good time” when her dad’s friend’s infant son Kale asked to play mermaids — something Paige looked forward to.
“I leaned backwards to fall onto my back and then swam backwards and came up like a mermaid, but when I was backwards I stepped on something and that’s when the chaos started,” Paige said.
She soon realized that what she was feeling underwater was neither her father, Kale, nor the boy’s mother.
“Everyone is above the water… what is that?” She recalled thinking to herself and admitting that what she was feeling she first suspected her father was joking with her.
Paige continued, “I felt a sharp pain in my ankle and then nothing. It felt like an eternity.
“I felt like I was down there for 20 minutes, but it was more like 20 seconds. It wasn’t long at all.”
Although her father pulled her out of the water alive, he could not help her avoid injury.
As far as Paige remembers, her father saw two flippers in the water when he pulled her onto shore.
She added: “I still had the whole leg on me, it was really, really awful.
“You could see bones, you could see teeth marks in bone.”
The teenager was quickly rushed by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where she later recovered.
Paige, who admitted to feeling “distressed” on the way to the hospital, said, “I honestly wasn’t in a lot of pain. I’ve never had a broken bone or anything like that.
“So I just sat there and felt what the TV noise looks like when your foot falls asleep, that’s how I felt.
“I don’t think I bled much at the time, but they were still obviously concerned about me.”
Paige was left with life-changing injuries, with surgeons forced to amputate her left leg above the knee and perform multiple surgeries to repair her hands after she was devastated by a bull shark while swimming.
But last year, Paige, who almost died from her injuries, spoke for the first time about the forgiveness she had for the endangered species, which she claims is “cool as hell.”
Speaking before a National Geographic Wild documentary telling the teen’s remarkable survival story, the 19-year-old recalled one of the first things she said after the attack.
“Don’t be mad at that shark,” she told her father. “It’s just a shark, it’s doing its shark thing.”
Paige has since revealed that she is now committed to saving the species.
“Sharks are good people,” she told I. I’ve always been an environmentalist, so just changing my feelings didn’t make much sense to me. You are greatly misunderstood.”
“I don’t think I’m that special. I guess I’m just a chick that lives. I’ve always been calm about the whole thing.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5509265/teen-shark-attack-north-carolina-beach-mermaid/ I was pretending to be a mermaid in the shallows when a shark ripped off my leg – only my father’s exploits saved me