Two Teenagers Attacked by Sharks in North Carolina

August 12, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. occurrence / əˈkɜr əns / (n.) – an event or an incident
Example: There were two occurrences of animal attacks in our town.

2. injure / ˈɪn dʒər / (v.) – to get hurt or to be wounded
Example: He injured his shoulder while playing beach volleyball.

3. stable / ˈsteɪ bəl / (adj.) – in a medical state that is not worsening
Example: Don’t worry; she is now in a stable condition.

4. vast / væst / (adj.) – great in terms of amount
Example: I was overwhelmed with the vast amount of information he gave me.

5. fatal / ˈfeɪt l / (adj.) – can cause death
Example: His injury is not fatal.


Read the text below.
Two occurrences of shark attacks in North Carolina have been reported in June this year.

The attacks occurred at a beach in the town of Oak Island. Local officials said that the shark attacks, which happened in just one day, injured two teenagers. The first shark attack involved a 13-year-old girl, while the second one involved a 16-year-old boy.

Experts said that the sharks that attacked the teenagers were either tiger or bull sharks, since their bites have led to serious injuries. Officials reported that the two teenagers were brought to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for surgery. Despite the severe injuries both teenagers got, they are now in a stable condition.

According to town manager Tim Holloman, this kind of attack has never happened in the town for the past 16 years. He mentioned that the authorities are now keeping a close watch at the beach. Holloman added that despite the recent attacks, Oak Island is still a safe place.

Director George Burgess [BUR-jis] of the Florida Program for Shark Research said that around two-thirds of all shark attacks in the world occur in the United States. This is due to the country’s vast amount of coastline, which attracts many beach lovers. Burgess added, however, that shark attacks are rarely fatal.

As of July 1, there are already 24 reported shark attacks in the United States. This figure is alarming, as the usual number of shark attacks in the country is between 30 and 40 every year.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you still consider the Oak Island beach safe despite the attacks? Why or why not?
·         What else do you think the local officials should do to ensure the safety of the beachgoers?

Discussion B

·         Do you think shark attacks can be prevented? Why or why not?
·         What other marine animals can be dangerous to humans?

August 12, 2015