Witness 911 calls describe terrifying shark attacks where boy, girl lost limbs

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Calls to emergency responders following two shark attacks on the same North Carolina beach on Sunday reveal the shock and panic at the scene. The victims, 12 and 16, both lost limbs.

The first call came in about the girl, 12, who lost part of her arm and suffered a leg injury. It was made around 4:40 p.m.

The caller can be heard saying, "Her entire hand is gone."

The calls about the boy, 16, began to come in around 5:51 p.m. two miles away. A member of the medical team that treated the teen said the boy lost most of his left arm. The callers indicated the boy had already lost the arm.

Beachgoers played a critical role in saving the lives of the shark attack victims, according to Brunswick County Emergency Management director Brian Watts.

"The bystanders, to go ahead and start the process of stopping the bleeding, that was the biggest concern with these patients," Watts said. "Without that, we would have had a different outcome."

The victims were airlifted to a hospital and were in stable condition as of Monday. Neither has been identified.

Unprovoked shark attacks on humans are extremely rare. There were 72 around the world in 2014, including 52 in the U.S., according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Three of them -- all outside the U.S. -- were fatal.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.