Nick Arthur jumped over waves on a beach about 25 feet off the coast when he started screaming, his father told CNN.
“At first I thought he was screaming with joy and then I looked at him and saw the shark,” said Tim Arthur.
“It simply came to our notice then. “Let me go,” and I went into action, “said Arthur.
Arthur said his daughter swam ashore while he and his son were fighting the shark. Arthur said he was kicking the shark near his nose while Nick hit him with his hand. The shark left Nick’s thigh as he tried to pinch his hand, allowing Nick to swim freely.
The attack took place in the ocean near the Vehicle 25 ramp, about 2 miles south of the village of Salvo, according to the National Park Service.
The Arthur family visited the Cape Hatteras National Seashore from their home in Oak Ridge, North Carolina, near Winston-Salem.
Nick was taken to a nearby hospital in Nags Head, where he was treated for his injuries, according to the National Park Service. He ended up with about 40 teeth in his thigh and received 17 stitches, his father said. He had to sew on his thumb and have scratches on his teeth in his hand.
Although bruised and injured, Arthur said his son is in good spirits and fortunately there appears to be no permanent damage. He said the incident had not disappointed the family in beach swimming, but added that they were unlikely to come out in the future.
“You always think you’re not going to be you,” Arthur said.