PERRY, Fla. – A teenage girl was seriously injured when a shark attacked her off Florida’s Gulf Coast, authorities said.
The attack occurred Thursday afternoon off Keaton Beach, according to a Taylor County Sheriff’s Office news release.
The 17-year-old girl had been looking for scallops in the water with her family when a 9-foot shark wrapped its jaws around the girl’s thigh, according to a statement from her family.
The girl poked the shark in the eyes and punched it before her brother, who is a firefighter, managed to fight the shark off and pull the girl onto a stranger’s boat. The brother put a tourniquet on the girl’s leg to slow blood loss.
After she was brought to shore, the girl was airlifted about 60 miles to a hospital in Tallahassee, the state capital, officials said. Doctors told the family that the girl’s leg suffered extensive damage.
Officials didn’t immediately know what kind of shark bit the girl.