A man from North Carolina says he endured a close encounter with a shark this week while surfing off the coast of Emerald Isle, Carteret County.
Erik “Marty” Martynuik said he went into the sea on Wednesday around sunset on the west side of Bogue Banks Island and soon realized he was not alone. He compared the situation to the famous shark thriller The Great White Shark by Steven Spielberg from 1975.
“I look over, and I see a dorsal fin! I said ‘oh man, this thing is coming right at me'”, he told the local media WCTI12 in an interview that was broadcast on Thursday. “It was like that movie Jaws, you know, when it glides all over the water?
Martynuik said he fought back after the suspected shark aimed at his surfboard and came in contact with his nose. After he returned to shore, Martynuik noticed that he still had some wounds on his feet and knees. However, his injuries were not life-threatening.
“It’s going down, and at this point I start to look around, and then BOOM,” he said. “It just nailed my board down. The next thing I felt was a stabbing feeling. I gave him a good punch in the nose and he let go automatically. I think that’s how I saved myself.”
Eugene Kloepell, a friend who was in the water at the time of the incident, told WCTI12 that something seemed to be after Martynuik. He said, “I caught a wave and said, ‘I’m leaving! This is not a bluefish, and I kept paddling as much as I could!
An information sheet “Shark Sense” published on the website of the city on the Emerald Isle says that there are more than 40 shark species known to exist and frequently sighted in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, including bull, tiger, blacktip and sandbar.
There it is said that Great White Sharks are “relatively rarely large predators” in this area, as they prefer the cooler waters of the west coast and the northeast east coast.
A spokesman for the Emerald Island Police told WCTI12 that the department is aware of the surfers’ claims of an encounter, but it has not been verified as a shark bite.
City manager Matt Zapp noted that sharks are known to swim in the waters off the Bogue Banks region and advised residents not to go into the ocean around sunset, as this is often when they feed. Martynuik confirmed that he had contacted the police.
The surfer from the Emerald Island said there was “no doubt” that he was attacked by a shark, but he did not blame the animal and said the ocean was “his home, not mine”.