Charlotte: A shark bite off North Carolina that cost a teenager her leg ended when the girl's father "punched the shark in the face," according to Janet Winter, the girl's grandmother.
Paige Winter, 17, of Havelock was bitten by a shark while standing in waist-deep water off Fort Macon, as her father stood nearby, according to a GoFundMe page that had raised nearly $US35,000 ($50,000) as of early Tuesday afternoon, US time.
The father, Charlie Winter, is a firefighter and paramedic and served in the Marines, according to the campaign.
Paige Winter lost part of one leg above the knee and some fingers, v posted on her Facebook page.
"Thank God our son was with her," the woman wrote on Facebook. "He said he punched the shark in the face five times before it let go."
Family friend Brandon Bersch confirmed the punches in a Monday interview with the Today show, saying Charlie Winter "began striking the shark on the nose."
"Charlie wouldn't stop until it released his little girl," Bersch told the show. "He lives for his children."
Marcy Goodrum Winter, the girl's mother, posted on Facebook that her daughter was "groggy but cracking jokes" after her first surgery on Sunday. "She wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people," her mother was quoted saying on the GoFundMe page.
Paige Winter is a junior at New Bern High School in eastern North Carolina, according to the school's Facebook page.
Charlie Winter's attack on the shark has won him praise across the country, particularly from news outlets that cover the US Marines. "Who needs a bigger boat when you have a Marine's fists?" wrote TaskandPurpose.com.