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Outer Banks shark bite victim remains thankful despite underwater attack

Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-07 15:32:13-04

NORFOLK, Va. — The 18-year-old Currituck County High School graduate bitten by a shark in the Outer Banks last month said he is working to make a full recovery. A shark bit John Cole on June 27 while he was on a camping trip with his family.

Cole suffered injuries to his hands, right calf and right knee, according to WTKR.

“I want to thank the people on the beach and Dare County emergency responders who helped me; as well as the medical transport teams who got me stabilized and safely to the hospital,” Cold said in a statement released through Sentara Hospital. “I want to thank the physicians and staff at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. I appreciate the media for their interest in my story and respect of my privacy as I continue to heal. I’m grateful for the love and support of family and friends as I work toward full recovery.”

Cole is one of eight people bitten by a shark this summer of the North Carolina coast. A spokesman for the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune told WITN News a shark bite victim was brought into the hospital on Saturday. On Wednesday, a 68-year-old man was pulled under the water by a shark in the Outer Banks on Ocracoke Island.

At the end of June, two people, including Cole, were bitten by sharks near Cape Hatteras.

In South Carolina, a shark attack also took place Friday morning at Hunting Island State Park. The male victim was taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital for treatment. No further information was available about the victim or the extent of his injuries.

On June 24, an 8-year-old boy in Surf City suffered what appeared to be a shark bite. Police said the wounds were superficial and the injuries were minor.

On June 14, 12-year-old Kiersten Yow from Archdale and a 16-year-old boy from Colorado both lost their arms in shark attacks at Oak Island.

Yow lost her left arm below the elbow and suffered injuries to her left leg. Hunter Treschl lost an arm.

A 13-year-old girl was bitten while boogie boarding off Ocean Isle Beach on June 11. In that incident, the victim suffered non-life threatening injuries, but the shark took bites of her boogie board.