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Shark attack at Florida beach leaves girl with serious injuries

The girl had to undergo surgery and lost her leg

Ataque de tiburón
Ataque de tiburón | Sergey Uryadnikov

July 1, 2022 9:57am

Updated: July 1, 2022 1:29pm

A teenage girl was seriously wounded after a shark attacked her at a beach in Florida on Thursday, authorities reported. 

The girl, who has not yet been identified, was scalloping in water about 5 feet deep near Grassy Island, near Keaton Beach. Suddenly, the girl was bitten by a shark, according to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office. 

"A family member reportedly jumped in the water and beat the shark until the juvenile was free," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The attack left the girls seriously injured and had to be airlifted to the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, about 80 miles away. The girl had to undergo surgery and lost her leg. While her situation remains critical, she is expected to survive.  

While the type of shark that attacked her has not been identified, authorities believe the shark was about 9 feet long. 

"Swimmers and scallopers are cautioned to be alert, vigilant, and practice shark safety," the sheriff's office said. "Some rules to follow are: never swim alone, do not enter the water near fishermen, avoid areas such as sandbars (where sharks like to congregate), do not swim near large schools of fish, and avoid erratic movements while in the water."

Florida has some of the highest rates of shark attacks in the world. Out of 73 unprovoked shark attacks last year around the world, 28 were in Florida. Similarly, about 60% of all shark attacks in the U.S. take place in Florida.