EMERALD ISLE, Carteret County — An eastern North Carolina man says he was bitten by a shark while surfing in Emerald Isle at sunset.
"I look over, and I see a dorsal fin! I said oh man, that things coming right towards me," Erik “Marty” Martynuik said. "It was like the movie Jaws, you know when it cruises and is gliding through the water?"
Fellow surfer, Eugene Kloepell, was in the water with Martynuik when it happened.
"There was something behind him, chasing him," recalled Kloepell. "I caught a wave and said 'I'm out of here!' That ain't no blue fish, and I kept on paddling for all I was worth!"
Things soon got serious, according to Martynuik, who described the animal coming towards him in the water.
"It goes down, and at that time I start looking around and then BOOM!" he said. "It just nailed my board at the bottom!"
He says the shark then came after him, leaving marks on his foot and knee.
"Next thing you know, I felt a stinging feeling," Martynuik recalled. "I gave him a good shot right to the nose and automatically he let go. That's how I think I saved myself."
Martynuik says he thankfully made it back to shore without suffering too much injury. While it left quite the mark on his board, he says it did not put much of a dent in his day.
Packed my knee with some surf wax and electrical tape and took my other back up board out,” he said. “I’m having lower back surgery in 5 days I’m not letting this rain on my parade!
Martynuik was more worried about his board, he said, than the deep cuts to his knee and foot but called it, “Pretty damn scary.”
Although there has been no official confirmation from wildlife or medical officials that the bite was caused by a shark, he felt it was important to share his account with possible ENC swimmers.
Emerald Isle Police, as well as Town Manager Matt Zapp, say they are aware of Martynuik's testimony, and while they cannot confirm it is in fact a shark, say sharks are often spotted in that area of Bogue Banks. Zapp also reminds swimmers sharks often feed at sunset, the time Martynuik was surfing, and advises swimmers to stay out of the water during that time.
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The Division of Marine Fisheries is now aware of the incident but say this type of human/shark interaction is outside the scope of their division, but provided NewsChannel 12 with this link to learn more about how to avoid swimmer/shark interactions.
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