A teenage girl was rescued by her brother Thursday afternoon after being attacked by a shark.  Addison Bethea was scalloping in 5-foot-deep water when the attack came. It took place off Keaton Beach, near Grassy Island in Taylor County, Florida.

According to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, Bethea was airlifted to Tallahassee Memorial Health Care and was in surgery around 6 p.m.

Shark

The New York Post  reported that Shane Bethea, her father, went on Facebook and asked for prayer,

“She’s been through more than I could ever imagine, but she is being a trooper,” “Please pray for her and the difficulty of her days ahead.”

“The nerve on the back of her thigh was damaged severely,” Bethea shared. “There is an unreal amount of damage to her thigh area. The doctors are unsure at this point as to the condition of the leg and want to take it day by day to see what will have to be done.”

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“The shark bit her once and then attacked her again on her right thigh,” he wrote. “She tried poking it in the eyes and punching it, but it would not turn loose.”

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Her brother Rhett stepped in, fighting off the 9′ shark until it finally loosened its grip, Bethea wrote.
He then helped her make it into a boat that was passing by.

“Rhett put a tourniquet on her leg to minimize blood loss to the massive injury and kept her awake, ultimately saving her life,”

The sheriff’s office said swimmers and scallopers are encouraged to practice shark safety, staying vigilant.
Swimmers are also advised not to swim near large schools of fish, to avoid erratic movements while in the water, to swim with others, to not swim near fishermen or sandbars where sharks often gather.

Experts say sharks spend half of their time in water less than 15′ deep and give tips for safety  in the wake of Addison Bethea’s injury. Beach goers are reminded to be careful.

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