Shark Attack in North Carolina: Survivor, 6, Forgives Shark

A six-year-old girl, who was ferociously attacked by a shark while on a family vacation, has declared she forgives the shark for biting her.

Lucy was in 18-inches of water at Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, when her right leg was bitten twice by the shark.

Craig and Jordan Mangum, Lucy’s parents, took immediate action. Mr. Mangum, an emergency room doctor, moved his daughter onto the beach and quickly realized the seriousness of her injuries.

Mrs. Mangum reported that Lucy asked, “Am I going to die? Am I going to walk?” Lucy then asked her parents to say a prayer just before she was rushed to the hospital via helicopter, according to ABC News.

The attack caused a 90 percent tendon tear, a 90 percent muscle tear, as well as a damaged artery, and the wound needed more stitches than doctors could count. However, Lucy avoided severe nerve damage and will keep her right foot and leg.

“She’ll be in a wheel chair for a little bit… But she’s going to walk and function pretty well, dance and run and play like she should,” Mr. Mangum told ABC.

Lucy will undergo physical therapy, and doctors expect she will be fully recovered in six to eight weeks.

Lucy stated in the past, “I hate sharks. I like dolphins way better.”

However, Mrs. Mangum recently relayed to the Today Show that Lucy was now maturely saying, “I don’t care that the shark bit me, I forgive him”.

With Lucy’s parents’ explanation that the shark made a mistake in biting her, the family told ABC that the attack will not prevent Lucy from getting in the water again, or deter them from beach vacations in the future.

The U.S. averages less than 40 shark attacks a year, according to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), located at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Wildlife experts say shark attacks are extremely rare, and ISAF research finds: “The growth in the shark attack numbers does not necessarily mean that there is an increase in the rate of shark attacks, rather it most likely is reflective of the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the sea by humans, which increases the odds of interactions.”

North Carolina ranks fifth behind Florida, Hawaii, California, and South Carolina in states with the most unprovoked shark attacks.

Lucy’s bite was the fifth unprovoked shark attack in the state since last summer, and the second in the area in the last month, local media groups have reported.

Beach goers are warned to avoid the water between dusk and dawn, when sharks are most likely to be in shallow water feeding.