A day at the beach turned into a terrifying ordeal for a teenager on the Treasure Coast of Florida, last Thursday.
Ella Reed, 13, told Local 10 News that she was with a friend wading in clear, waist-high water at North Jetty Beach off of Fort Pierce, when she felt a sudden, intense pain in her side.
The teen soon realized she had been bitten by a shark. Hard.
Ella fought back.
“It went straight to me and got my stomach first,” she told the local media outlet. “I tried blocking it with my arm and my hand, and it kind of slipped in and got my finger and my arm, and it swooped around and got my leg again.”
LOCAL 10 EXCLUSIVE: A brave 13-year-old girl fought off a shark while being attacked at a Florida beach Thursday and now she is sharing her heroic story with Local 10 News. https://t.co/so0XgngKXt
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) May 13, 2023
The St. Lucie County resident, who sustained bites to her torso, leg and finger, believes the “powerful” four- to five-footer was a bull shark.
The brave girl was probably correct in her assessment of the species.
Bull sharks, which prefer shallow, coastal water, are often considered to be the most dangerous to humans because of their aggressive nature; however, attacks are rare.
“Bull sharks are more aggressive than most shark species and responsible for many unprovoked attacks on humans worldwide,” says the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Some experts consider them to be more dangerous” than whites or tigers.
After the attack, a friend drove Ella “covered in blood” on a golf cart back to her home in North Hutchinson Island where her mother then took her to a fire station.
Rescue workers there transported Ella to HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital, where she received 19 stitches and was released.
“There are so many sharks out there, but we never actually thought this was going to happen,” she said.