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person dead, another in critical condition after North Carolina shark attack
By Doug Johnson, Associated Press, 09/03/01
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A married couple wading in the surf off North Carolina's Outer Banks was attacked by a shark Monday, leaving the man dead and his wife in critical condition.
The death came just two days after the first fatal shark attack this year, which came Saturday at Virginia Beach, Va., 135 miles up the coast from Avon.
Information on the North Carolina attack was thin Monday evening, but Dare County Emergency Management officials confirmed the couple was attacked around 6 p.m. in Avon, 240 miles east of Raleigh.
"It was beautiful day and there were several people in the water with them," said N.H. Sanderson, a dispatcher for the Dare County Emergency Management office. "The park service is interviewing these people now."
An official at the Hyde County Sheriff's Department said the man was dead and the woman had been flown to the Norfolk Sentara Hospital in Virginia with substantial wounds to her lower torso.
The victims' names were not released. They were believed to be in their 20s.
In another shark attack, a sailor at the Mayport Naval Station near Jacksonville said he was bitten on the foot Sunday. The bite was apparently not serious, and the man was treated at a hospital and released. His name was not released.
The shark Saturday attacked 10-year-old David Peltier, ripping a 17-inch gash in his left leg and releasing him from its grip only after the boy's father hit the shark on the head. The father carried David ashore but he died hours later after losing large amounts of blood from a severed artery.
The attack occurred in 4 feet of water about 50 yards from the shore off Sandbridge Beach, said Ed Brazle, division chief for the city's Emergency Medical Services.
On Monday, a police helicopter carrying marine scientists periodically flew over Virginia Beach, and several police boats were on the water. A shark was spotted 200 yards off a military beach that is closed to the public, but marine scientists did not think it was the shark that attacked David.
Tourists and residents were talking about the shark attack Monday, but weren't put off enough to cancel hotel reservations or stay away from the beach.
Many hotels were sold out, including the Comfort Inn, where owner Addison Richardson said no guests checked out early or expressed fear after learning of the attack.
"It's very sad, but there's no reason to be afraid," Chaya Brod of Silver Spring, Md., said as she walked along the beach while her husband and three of her children played in the surf. "You have to be out deep in the water in order to be attacked. It doesn't bother me."
Fifty-two shark attacks have occurred worldwide this year, including a fatal one in Brazil, said George Burgess of the International Shark Attack File in Gainesville, Fla. Twenty-nine have been in Florida waters.
Last year, there were 84 shark attacks worldwide, 53 in the United States, he said.
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