18-year-old OBX shark bite victim releases statement

Posted at 2:37 PM, Jul 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-14 22:41:02-04

Norfolk, Va. – The 18-year-old bitten by a shark on June 27th in Dare County has released a statement  through Sentara thanking emergency responders and medical teams that helped him in the wake of the incident.

John Cole is a recent graduate of Currituck County High School. He was on a camping trip with his family in Dare County when he was bitten by the shark.

He suffered injuries to his right calf, right knee, and both hands.

Cole was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital that day and remains there in fair condition.

Cole and his family have requested privacy as they focus on his continued recovery. Today, he issued the following statement:

“I want to thank the people on the beach and Dare County emergency responders who helped me; as well as the medical transport teams who got me stabilized and safely to the hospital. I want to thank the physicians and staff at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. I appreciate the media for their interest in my story and respect of my privacy as I continue to heal. I’m grateful for the love and support of family and friends as I work toward full recovery.”

Cole’s shark incident was one of eight in the last month along the Carolina coastline:

  • July 4, a man was bitten in Surf City, NC and treated at Camp Lejeune for minor injuries
  • July 1, a 68-year-old man was pulled under water by a shark on Ocracoke Islane. He was bitten on his rib cage, hip, lower leg, and both hands.
  • June 27, an 18-year-old was swimming with other people near Waves when the shark bit his calf, buttocks and both hands.
  • June 26, a 47-year-old man was bitten by a shark in the leg and back while trying to get children and another adult out of the water near Avon.
  • June 24, an 8-year-old boy in Surf City suffered what appeared to be a shark bite. Police said the wounds were superficial and the injuries were minor.
  • June 14, 12-year-old Kiersten Yow from Archdale and a 16-year-old boy from Colorado both lost their arms in shark attacks at Oak Island.
  • June 11, a 13-year-old girl was bitten while boogie boarding off Ocean Isle Beach.


Another shark attack along the North Carolina coast; 8th in less than a month

Man bitten multiple times in OBX’s third shark attack in a week

Second shark attack in two days reported in Outer Banks

Man bitten by shark in Outer Banks while trying to get others to safety

Teenage shark attack victim: “I’m going to try to fight, and live a normal life”

Two teens lose arms in shark attacks off North Carolina