herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Teen relives the moment he lost his arm in shark attack

SURVIVAL

16-year-old Hunter Treschl, of Colorado Springs, Colo., speaks during an interview at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C
16-year-old Hunter Treschl, of Colorado Springs, Colo., speaks during an interview at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C

A teen who lost an arm after a shark attack in North Carolina says he felt the big fish before he saw it and didn't realise what it was until it was "biting up my left arm".

"We were just playing around in the waves and I felt a hit on my left calf," 16-year-old Hunter Treschl said in a videotaped interview released by the hospital where he is being treated.

"I thought it felt like a big fish, and I started moving away. Then the shark bit my arm off."

Treschl said he was able to make it on to the beach in Oak Island, North Carolina, with the help of a cousin who had been in the water with him.

He said one of the people who ran to his aid had a belt with him that he used as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, while others "were all helping me kind of stay calm until the ambulance got there".

Asked if he ever saw the shark, Treschl said he first felt it hit his left leg before it bit his arm.

"That was the first time I saw it, when it was biting up my left arm," he said in the videotape, released by the New Hanover Regional Medical Centre in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The Colorado teen said he is going to try to live a normal life despite the loss of his dominant hand.

"I have two options: I can try to live my life the way I was and make an effort to do that even though I don't have an arm, or I can just let this be completely debilitating and bring my life down and ruin it," he said.

"Out of those two, there's really only one that I would actually choose and that's to try to fight and live a normal life with the cards I've been dealt."

A little more than an hour before the shark attacked Treschl, a 12-year-old Asheboro girl, Kiersten Yow, lost her left arm below the elbow and suffered a leg injury when a shark bit her.

Yow was in stable condition in hospital at the University of North Carolina, according to a statement from her parents, Brian and Laurie Yow.

There were only 72 unprovoked shark attacks on humans around the world in 2014, including 52 in the US, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Three of them - all outside the US - were fatal.

Shark researcher George Burgess, who oversees the database, said he's aware of only two other multiple shark attacks on the same beach in one day.

"It may be that there are big schools of fish out in the surf zone that are attracting the sharks," he said.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News