One of two young shark attack victims to lose an arm in separate encounters in North Carolina over the weekend said he “didn’t see it coming.”
In comments released by 16-year-old Hunter Treschl’s family via New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the teen said he felt the shark bite his leg, “and then I saw that it had attacked my arm because it was out of the water a little bit.”
Related: A Shark Attack Survival Guide
Treschl and a 12-year-old girl both lost their left arms to shark bites in separate incidents about two miles apart in Oak Island, North Carolina, on Sunday.
The attacks also happened less than an hour and a half apart. Both victims were in waist-deep water, about 20 yards offshore, authorities said Monday. The girl lost her arm below the elbow, while Treschl lost his arm below the shoulder.
“I thought it felt like a big fish, and I started moving away. And then the shark bit my arm — off,” Treschl said. “My cousin pulled me out of the water and got me on the beach.”
That’s when a man used a belt as a tourniquet on his arm to stop the bleeding, he recalled.
Displaying remarkable optimism just two days after the traumatic, life-altering event, Treschl appeared in a video shot from his hospital bed to express gratitude to those that helped him and a will to overcome the loss.
“I've lost my arm obviously, so 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,” Treschl 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.”