Teen NC shark attack survivor speaks about losing his arm

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It was arguably the most terrifying day off of our coast in recent history.

In June 2015, two swimmers were bitten by sharks at Oak Island.

The attacks happened about an hour apart. A 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy each lost an arm as a result. Luckily, both victims survived, and there has been a keen interest in following their progress ever since.

WECT had the chance to speak with one of the survivors Wednesday. Hunter Treschl was visiting Oak Island from his home state of Colorado when the attack happened.

“I knew that the arm was gone, but I didn’t actually look at it until I was in the hospital later. So I didn’t know if it was just the hand, or the whole arm, or what. So yeah, it was really a state of disbelief more than anything. I was confused. I was in shock because you have all the adrenaline and stuff. Yeah, it took a while to sink in, and figure out what had really happened,” he recalled.

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Treschl’s resilience after the attack was remarkable. The shark bit off his dominant arm, but from the beginning, he was determined to make the best of it. He still enjoys hobbies like golf, and is a rising sophomore studying economics at Grinnell College in Iowa.

“There were definitely adjustments to make at first, but I think that’s true of anything really,” Treschl said of adapting to life with one limb. “Just things like learning how to drive a car one-handed, or everything else. It takes time, but it’s definitely not something nobody can do and I think, as with a lot of things, it’s just something you get used to. I have been dealing with this every day for three years now and if you deal with anything for that long, it just becomes part of your everyday life.

“Honestly, I hardly even notice it anymore. … I can still do everything that I did before, albeit a little bit differently for some things.”

Believe it or not, Treschl has been swimming in North Carolina waters since the attack. He has vacationed at Topsail Beach for the last two summers.

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