A father punched a shark five times as it attacked his daughter at a beach in North Carolina.
Paige Winter, 17, lost part of her leg during the horrific attack and was only saved when her dad intervened, striking the powerful beast on Sunday.
According to the Atlantic Beach Fire Department, the teenager suffered 'deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic and hand areas' as a result of the attack.
The department released a statement about the incident. It read: "Atlantic Beach Fire Department confirms firefighters and paramedics responded to the area of Fort Macon State Park bathhouse at 12.19pm on 2 June, 2019 for an incident involving a 17 yo female with severe injuries to her leg and hands from a marine animal bite.
"ABFD Paramedics immediately transported the patient to an awaiting East Care Helicopter at Carteret Health Care where she was flown to Vidant Medical Center.
"The patient sustained deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic, and hand areas. ABFD cannot confirm what type of marine life was involved until further information is received from specialists and marine biologists."
Speaking to WCTI-TV, park ranger Paul Terry said the tragic incident happened while the young girl was swimming. Her grandmother said her son bravely 'punched the shark in the face five times before it let go'.
Ms Winter was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina, where she was treated for her injuries.
A statement released by the hospital said: "Her family expresses their appreciation for the first responders, the individuals on the beach who helped and her heroic father who saved her life.
"Despite this unfortunate circumstance, Paige is an unwavering advocate for the marine life and the animals who live in the water."
It added: "She wishes for people to continue to respect sharks in their environment and their safety."
In a post to Facebook, Paige's grandmother Janet Winter gave an update on her condition. She said: "Many prayers needed our 17 year old granddaughter Paige Winter was attacked by a shark today. In surgery now will lose one leg above the knee and some fingers."
She added: "Thank God our son was with her he said he punched the shark in the face 5 times before it let go. Wish we could be with them."
Her mum Marcy Winter also posted on social media later that day. She said: "Paige is out of surgery and awake, she's still pretty groggy but cracking jokes. She wants everyone to know that sharks are still good people."