14-year-old bitten by shark near North Topsail Beach speaks out from hospital

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NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – A teen is recovering in the hospital after being bitten by a shark at an area beach.

A 14-year-old was bitten by a shark on Sunday, June 23, at around 12:30 p.m. at North Topsail Beach, per the NTB Police Chief.

Chief William K. Younginer says that it took place at county beach access 4, which is located at 474 New River Inlet Rd.

Blayne Brown was on vacation from West Virginia when the bite occurred. He says he’s always been a little afraid of the ocean, specifically because of sharks, but it wasn’t something he think would happen to him.

“It’s just really traumatizing and scary,” said Brown. “I don’t know what bit me or anything. I just felt it and ran. Then I was screaming. My grandma was holding my hand and I was like, ‘I’m not gonna be okay. I’m gonna lose my leg.’”

That’s how Brown describes the moment he was bitten.

Police say North Topsail Beach haven’t experienced a shark bite since 2018.

Brown’s close family-friend Makinley Gore was in the water with him when it all happened and even saw the shark’s fin. She says it still doesn’t feel real.

“I remember like falling down or something and turning back and looking at Blayne. And that’s kinda like when I was like, ‘Hey, you got bit by a shark. I seen him,’” said Gore.

It was a moment she said no one could have ever prepared her for.

“I heard like Blayne saying ‘Ow, I got bit, I got bit’ but it was like fuzzy,” said Gore.

But after all was said and done, Brown is on the road to recovery with a couple of pulled tendons and a few staples in his leg. He is even already up and walking.

Chief William Younginer says Brown is a true champion, and he hopes they can meet once he is all recovered.

“I look forward to seeing him walk through the doors here one day and speaking to the officers and EMS that were there and going back out to the beach. You know don’t don’t be afraid of it. You have a long life ahead of you,” said Chief Younginer.

Two officers and EMS were already there giving medical attention to other people when they got flagged down. The response time was two minutes.

Brown says he knows he is lucky and is just grateful it wasn’t worse.

“I mean, I’m doing better,” said Brown.

According to Younginer, bystanders were already applying pressure, and police applied a tourniquet to the child.

He was moved to the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital with injuries. According to family members, Brown is out of the hospital as of Tuesday and is headed back to West Virginia.

Despite Brown’s encounter, shark bites are rare. The police chief says people should not be afraid to go in the ocean, but anyone who goes in the ocean should remember that’s where sharks live.

Doctors say Blayne should be released from the hospital on Tuesday.