'I felt something grab my leg': Teen surfer bitten by shark at Ocean Isle Beach


OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. — A shark bit a teenager swimming off Ocean Isle Beach on Monday afternoon, family members said.

The 19-year-old's grandmother told Channel 9 affiliate WWAY the shark bit her grandson's foot.

Brunswick County Dispatch said the call came in just after 2 p.m. from the beach access along Beaufort Street -- about midway down the west end of the island.

Austin Reed said he was surfing when he was bitten by what he thinks was a shark. He described his wound as a "deep tooth bite" on his foot.

The teen was taken to New Hanover Regional Center by ambulance and is expected to be OK.

Austin joked from his hospital bed about comments he made right before the attack.

“I remember I told my friend, ‘If there was any time to get bit by a shark, it'd be today.’ I don’t know why I said that. And then, like I just felt something grab onto my leg and I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” he said.

“Initially, he was concerned he was going to perhaps lose function of his foot or something,” Austin’s father, Wayne Reed said. “When he got to the hospital and they realized he was going to end up with stitches, his spirits have been very good.”

Austin should be out of the hospital in the next few days. He said the attack won't discourage him from getting back in the ocean.

If confirmed as a shark bite, it would be the second shark attack in North Carolina this month. Last weekend, 17-year-old Paige Winter lost most of her leg from a shark bite received at Fort Macon State Park.

The Washington Post reports Winter's father punched the shark five times before it released Winter.