Father ‘punched shark in face five times’ to save his daughter

A 17-year-old American girl survived a horrific shark attack after her father repeatedly punched the animal in the face. Paige Winter was attacked while swimming off a beach near her home in North Carolina on Sunday.

Her father Charlie, a US marine, hit the shark five times on the nose, forcing it to release his daughter, according to a relative.

The family later said Paige’s left leg had to be amputated above the knee and she may lose some fingers.

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Vidant Medical Center, the hospital where she was flown for treatment, said in a statement: "She is in good condition and receiving excellent care. Her family expresses their appreciation for the first responders, the individuals on the beach who helped, and her heroic father who saved her life.

"Despite this unfortunate circumstance, Paige is an unwavering advocate for the marine life and the animals who live in the water. 

She wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety."

The teenager herself said: "Although I have extensive injuries, including an amputated leg and damage to my hands, I will be OK. I will continue to stay positive and be thankful that it was not worse."

Her mother, Marcy Winter, said the teenager "wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people."

Lacy Whorton, a witness on the beach at the time of the attack, told NBC News: "Everyone started screaming, and I looked to my left and they were rushing towards this little girl.

"It looked like she was belly crawling on the beach and officials were running towards her and whistles were blowing. Everyone was screaming and they quickly got out of the water."

The last shark attack in the area happened in August.

Paige’s grandmother Janet Winter, said: "Thank God our son was with her. He said he punched the shark in the face five times before it let go."

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