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One Dies in Shark Attack, Other in Critical Condition

Aired September 4, 2001 - 09:33   ET


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: More developing news to take you to. We want to take you right now to North Carolina where a news conference is about to get under way. This is the area where that shark attack happened Monday night. A man and a woman were attacked. The 27-year- old man was killed, the woman is in the hospital at this hour, still recovering from her injuries. She's lost a foot, she's got some injuries in her leg.

MARY DOLL, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: Let's have a listen in right now.

Just a mile south of Avon Pier we had one fatality. The name of the individual was Sergi, S-e-r-g-i, last name Zaloukaev, Z-a-l-o-u-k- a-e-v. He was 28 years old from Arlington, Virginia. His companion. Natalia. Slobonskaya, S-l-o-b-o-n-s-k-a-y-a, was from Vienna, Virginia. She also suffered some injuries. She was medivaced by Dare County up to Norfolk General Hospital. And her mother is with her now. She had some surgery last night.

This morning we began some flights over the area that are being flown by the U.S. Coast guard, and accompanying the coast guard in the helicopter is a biologist from the North Carolina Aquarium who specializes in sharks. And what they are doing is looking at the beaches along the outer banks for any type of unusual activity with sharks, or with any other type of marine animal that might cause concern. To see what our next step would be with this incident.

What I would like to do at this point is have Skeeter Sawyer who's the director of public safety talk with you about Natalia's condition.

QUESTION: Can you spell the two names again for us?

DOLL: Yes, I can.


DOLL: And my pronunciation of them probably is not correct.

QUESTION: It's better than mine.

DOLL: The gentleman, his first name: S-e-r-g-i, his last name: Z-a-l-o-u-k-a-e-v.

QUESTION: B as in boy?

DOLL: V as in Victor. The woman, Natalia: N-a-t-a-l-i-a. Last name I will spell: S-l-o-b-o-n-s-k-a-y-a.

QUESTION: S-l-o-b-o-n-s-k...

DOLL: A-y-a.

QUESTION: 27 and 22?

DOLL: 28 for the male.

QUESTION: What is the first name of the guy?

DOLL: S-e-r-g-i.

QUESTION: What was the age of the woman, again?

DOLL: 23.

QUESTION: From Vienna, Virginia?

DOLL: Vienna, Virginia, for the female; Arlington, Virginia, for the male.

QUESTION: Is there any information about the size of the shark, or the identification?

DOLL: No. Nobody -- no one saw a shark. No one saw any animal in the surf. And we are hoping that the autopsy will be able to bring some of that information out. The victim had just arrived at the Pitt Memorial Hospital, where the medical examiner is, within the last hour. They are still in the process of completing the autopsy, which hopefully will be done shortly.

QUESTION: Mary, you mentioned the flyovers this morning, and you said that you were -- the crews were looking for any kind of obscure behavior. Have you heard a report back that there was any kind of behavior of anything in the ocean?

DOLL: We haven't gotten any reports in yet. We're hoping that they'll complete their flight by 11:00, and we can get a full report then.

QUESTION: Has the woman been able to give a statement?

DOLL: Not that I know of.

QUESTION: Could it have been anything? Is it conceivable it could have been any other marine creature other than a shark?

DOLL: I'm going to have David Griffin with the aquarium talk about that.

QUESTION: What were the water conditions like? Were they murky, clear where these people were attacked? DOLL: I'm going to have -- Jeff do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were the water conditions like out there?

DOLL: Clear conditions yesterday.

QUESTION: What's next for the beach? Did you make a decision? At what point do you decide whether or not...?

DOLL: After we get the reports back from the overflights.

QUESTION: The beach is currently open?

DOLL: Yes. Skeeter?

QUESTION: Can you spell your name, sir?

SKEETER SAWYER, EMS PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR, DARE COUNTY, N.C.: Skeeter: S-k-e-e-t-e-r, Sawyer: S-a-w-y-e-r.

QUESTION: What position?

SAWYER: I'm the public safety director of EMS for Dare County.

QUESTION: What date was administered -- what was the response to the call?

SAWYER: We responded to the call for the two victims with two ambulances out of the station located on the southern end of Buxton. Hatteras Island rescue also responded with several vehicles to give us four-wheel drive capability.

After the victims were extricated from the beach, they were transported to Health East Avon Medical Center, both victims were. Subsequently our helicopter was called to transport the female victim to Centera Norfolk Trauma.

QUESTION: Were you on the beach?

SAWYER: No I was not.

QUESTION: Do you know how soon after the attack?

SAWYER: All I can tell you about the injuries, without going into specifics, is they were severe injuries to both people to their lower legs, thigh areas.

QUESTION: How soon after the attack were you able to get to the victims?

SAWYER: Our ambulance -- first ambulance was onscene approximately eight minutes after they were dispatched.

SAWYER: When were they called out?

SAWYER: They were called out at 1758.


SAWYER: Yes, 5:58.

QUESTION: From seeing the wounds, does it give you any indication of how large the animal may have been that attacked?

SAWYER: I can't speculate on that, not being a shark expert.

QUESTION: Was there a lot of bleeding at the scene on the beach? Was this a severe enough wound that there was...?

SAWYER: Yes, sir. There was considerable blood loss on both victims.

QUESTION: Were there people at the scene trying to treat them?

SAWYER: Yes, sir. There were bystanders on the scene that were trying to assist. Actually, somebody had already begun CPR on the male victim by the time we arrive.

QUESTION: By the time you got there, what was the mood on the beach? Were people in hysterics, or...?

SAWYER: I can't say. Not being there, I don't know.

QUESTION: How did they get out of the water?

SAWYER: I don't know that. I suppose they were removed by bystanders.

QUESTION: How deep was the water that they were in when they were attacked?

SAWYER: I don't know that either.

QUESTION: Do you have the names of bystanders, of witnesses?

SAWYER: I do not have any of those, no sir.

QUESTION: The man went into cardiac arrest on the beach. Is that right? Can you describe how all that works?

SAWYER: All I can tell you is by the time we arrived the victim was in full cardiac arrest. How long or when he actually become unconscious, I don't know if it was when he was in the water or when he got to the beach.

QUESTION: That's the male?

SAWYER: Yes,sir, that is the male.

QUESTION: Could you describe the physical characteristics of the male? Big, small?

SAWYER: I didn't see him.

QUESTION: You didn't see him?

SAWYER: No sir.

QUESTION: If the call was placed at 5:58, how much earlier than that do you estimate the attack actually occurred? Do you know that?

SAWYER: No sir, I don't.

QUESTION: Is it reasonable to say a half hour sooner, or -- how far away from the road and/or telephone and houses is this location?

SAWYER: There are houses right behind the dune line where it happened at. So, I would assume that it was very quickly that got up and called 911 for assistance.

QUESTION: How many shark attacks have been reported here this summer?

SAWYER: This summer is the only one I know of.

QUESTION: The indications we've been getting is that no one actually saw any animal out there. Is that still what they're saying, or have additional reports yielded new information?

SAWYER: That's all that I've heard, is that there was no type of animal seen.

QUESTION: Who called 911?

SAWYER: I don't know who placed that initial call.

QUESTION: Do you know if it was from a cell phone or from a land line?

SAWYER: I do not know.

QUESTION: The injuries were lower legs and thigh, right?

SAWYER: Yes, sir. There was some injuries to their hand as well, on both victims.

QUESTION: You don't know if -- do you know -- we've already asked that, I think, what the depth of the water was. You don't know that?

SAWYER: No, sir. I'm not aware of the depth of the water.

QUESTION: Do you know whether the femoral artery was bittin in the male?

SAWYER: I do not know that.

QUESTION: Did the woman lose her foot?

SAWYER: Yes. The female victim did have a foot that was amputated just above the ankle.

QUESTION: By the attack?

SAWYER: Yes, by the attack.

QUESTION: Have you guys gotten an update on her condition?

SAWYER: The last I've heard, this morning, was that she's in stabile but critical condition at Centera Norfolk Trauma.

QUESTION: Do they have a prognosis?

SAWYER: I haven't heard about that.

QUESTION: Which foot was it?

SAWYER: Would you bear with me? It was her left foot.

LIN: You have been watching a news conference on CNN courtesy of our affiliate WVEC, on the situation regarding the two latest victims of a shark attack.

Officials saying, first of all, they are patrolling the beach area there off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. They are up in an airplane with a biologist onboard, we are told, looking to see if there's any unusual shark activity in the area.

We're also getting the identities of the victims: Sergi Zaloukaev, 28-year-old of Arlington, Virginia. He passed away, was killed in the attack. And Natalia Slobonskaya, 23 years old, his girlfriend from Vienna, Virginia. She is in the hospital in stabile but critical condition. Her mother is with her now.

There is actually going to be a news conference from Norfolk on her condition at 11:00 a.m. eastern. That's just a little over an hour from now. We will bring it to you live here on CNN just as soon as it happens.



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