NC woman survives shark attack at Hilton Head - WNCN: News, Weather

NC woman survives shark attack at Hilton Head

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HILTON HEAD, S.C. -

A North Carolina woman was attacked just feet from shore by a shark at Hilton Head Island Tuesday.

"We were right in front of the lifeguard, I was like knee-deep in the water, and all of a sudden I felt this thump, that's the best way to describe it on my leg," said Kimberly Popp. Popp's husband, Jim, is the general manager of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes.

Kimberly Popp, who lives in Mooresville, looked down and saw a four-foot shark clamped around her left leg.

"I looked the shark right in the eye, his nose was up, his teeth were into my flesh, I immediately looked at my kids and screamed to everybody to get out of the water, there's a shark on me!"

After the water cleared, Popp said she took a deep breath and had to deal with the jaws around her foot.

"My first thought was 'How am I getting him off?' and I just hit him, and luckily was able to keep my balance, he let go and I was able to run up to the sand, the lifeguard was right there and she was wonderful."

Popp is on crutches, bite marks on the top of her foot and stitches holding the bottom together, but she says adrenaline kept her from feeling pain until she was out of the water. But then realized what happened.

"'Oh my Gosh, I got bit by a shark!' And when I saw the blood, I think that's what gave me the sense of, 'OK, I am in pain,'" she said.

She says she doesn't have any broken bones or torn tendons that she knows of, but what she does know is that one day she'll be back.

"I think I will eventually but right now I am taking a little break, from the water," she said.

Popp remains in good spirits despite the attack, even joking that she was going to buy a lottery ticket-saying the chances of her winning were less than being bitten by the shark.

It is unknown what type of shark bit Popp-- the last confirmed shark bite on Hilton Head island happened back in 2006.

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