19-year-old bitten by shark while surfing off N. Carolina beach, family says


OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – Family members say a 19-year-old will be fine after he was bitten by a shark while surfing in the waters off Ocean Isle Beach Monday afternoon.

Brunswick County officials said the incident happened near the beach access at 1 Beaufort Street around 2 p.m.

Ethan Reed said his brother, Austin Reed, was surfing in the ocean with a friend when Austin felt a bite on his foot. Ethan said his brother immediately knew the animal was a shark.

“They looked like they were panicking a little bit, and it turns out, he ended up getting bit on the foot by a shark. And you know Austin’s one to goof around a lot, so when he told his buddy out in the ocean, he’s like, ‘Yo, I got bit by a shark.’ He didn’t believe him at first, you know, the boy who cries wolf. But once Tyler saw his foot, saw that it was bleeding, he was like, ‘Yo, we got to go in,’” Ethan said.

Austin’s mom, who is a registered nurse, wrapped his foot in a towel and applied pressure until paramedics could arrive.

“He didn’t like all the attention. He was just telling everyone he was fine. You know, he’s a tough guy. He was just waiting for the paramedics to get here,” Ethan said of his brother.

Austin was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for treatment.

“He’ll be back on the board as soon as he can,” Ethan said.

This is the second attack in North Carolina waters in the last two weeks. His attack comes just over a week after a 17-year-old girl lost her leg in a shark attack just three hours up the coast from where Reed was bitten. 

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