Girl suffered serious injuries from shark bite on Florida beach, officials say
TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV/Gray News) - A girl suffered serious injuries when a shark attacked her at a northern Florida beach Thursday afternoon, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office said.
The girl was injured at Keaton Beach, which is about 75 miles southeast of Tallahassee.
One of the girl’s family members reportedly jumped in the water and beat the shark off of her until she was free, a news release from the sheriff’s office said.
According to TCSO, the girl was taken to the shore, where Taylor County firefighters and EMS were posted. Deputies say the girl was then flown to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare to receive treatment for her injuries.
The family told deputies they were scalloping near Grassy Island in 5-feet-deep water when a shark that was about 9 feet long bit the girl.
“Boaters and swimmers are cautioned to be alert, vigilant and practice shark safety,” the news release says. “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.”
Tyler Bowling, the program manager for the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File, confirmed Friday that this is the first recorded shark attack in Taylor County.
TCSO says it’s unknown at this point what type of shark it was.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story reported that the girl had lost her leg, according to the sheriff’s office. That is not the case; she had surgery Thursday night and is expected to survive.
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