A teenager was seriously injured in a shark attack off the northwest coast of Florida, but authorities say she should survive.
Addison Bethea, 17, was hunting for scallops on the coast off Keaton Beach when a shark wrapped its jaws around her thigh.
The shark was aggressive and attacked her several times, with Addison hitting and punching him in the eyes before her brother pulled her apart and pulled her onto a stranger’s boat.
Her brother, Rhett Willingham, who is a firefighter and emergency medical technician, then applied a tourniquet to her leg to stem blood loss.
Ms. Bethea suffered “serious injuries” in the attack and had to be flown to the Trauma and Emergency Center at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH), approximately 70 miles from the beach.
Officials said the shark species is unknown.
Doctors told his family that his leg was badly damaged in the attack, with TMH describing it as “devastating soft tissue damage in the right leg.”
Trauma specialists were able to stabilize her before the hospital’s trauma surgeon performed emergency surgery to restore blood flow to the leg.
Ms. Bethea is expected to undergo a second surgery on Saturday “to further investigate the extent of the damage to her leg and determine what treatment options are available with the aim of saving her,” TMH said.
“Addison has a long journey towards recovery, but she was in a good mood today, surrounded by her family in the Tallahassee Memorial Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
“Addison’s family would like to thank their community in Taylor County and all who have joined in offering their prayers and support during this difficult time,” the hospital added.