Local News

Big catch on NC coast also has a big bite

A New Jersey family vacationing on the Outer Banks had a very close encounter with a shark.

Posted Updated
Shark encounter on Canova Beach
CURRITUCK COUNTY, N.C. — Tommy and Jessica Montagna were concerned about shark attacks before visiting the Outer Banks from Freehold, N.J.

“We were trying to decide whether or not we were even going to let the kids in the water,” Jessica Montagna said. “But then the more we thought about it, we thought 'God, what are the chances of somebody being hurt by a shark or what are the chances that there are sharks swimming that close to shore?’”

The Montagnas were at Carova Beach on Friday when Tommy Montagna noticed two men who were fishing near them struggling with a big catch.

“I grabbed my friend Garrett and said 'What do you think,” he said. “’You think he's got something big on there?' We were unsure.”

The catch turned out to be a shark, which brought Jessica Montagna to tears.

“They were boogie boarding all week and we had no idea that something so big and so deadly would be swimming right around us,” she said.

Six reported shark attacks have occurred on the North Carolina coast so far this year. The most serious injuries were suffered by a 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy, each bitten June 14 about an hour apart off the coast of Oak Island. Each had an arm amputated.

The men took a few pictures with the shark at Canova Beach, then released it into the water.

No injuries were reported.

Before the big catch, the men caught smaller sharks throughout the day, the Montagnas said.

While visiting the North Carolina coast is a tradition the Montagnas will continue, their future trips will involve a little more caution.

“I would go back…I might make sure (the children) stay in the pool area,” Jessica Montagna said.


Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.