13-year-old girl fights off shark in dramatic beach encounter after punching it in the face

Teenager sustained injuries to her stomach, arm, finger, and knee and had to get 19 stitches

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Image used for illustrative purpose.
Image used for illustrative purpose.

Published: Tue 16 May 2023, 10:01 AM

In a harrowing incident, a brave 13-year-old girl found herself facing not one but two encounters with a persistent shark. While enjoying the water at Fort Pierce Beach, Florida, Ella Reed was suddenly attacked by a six-foot-long shark.

Recounting her ordeal on the 'Today' show, Ella said on May 11, she was sitting in shallow water with her friends when the bull shark that had been swimming nearby sank its teeth into her side, not once but twice.

Determined to protect herself, Ella fought back. Despite her efforts, the shark continued its relentless pursuit, injuring her arm and finger. With remarkable courage, Ella punched the shark in the face to deter it from further attacks. Her bold action successfully compelled the shark to swim away initially.

However, the relentless predator returned, and Ella found herself in another perilous encounter. As the shark circled her, the teenager cried out, seeking assistance and support during this frightening ordeal.

The shark bit Ella on her torso, arm, finger and knee. The encounter resulted in Ella receiving 19 stitches, but she is now recovering after the terrifying encounter.

According to the University of Florida Shark Attack Statistics, Florida holds the unfortunate distinction of being the shark bite capital of the world. In 2022, out of the 57 unprovoked shark bites recorded globally, 16 incidents took place in Florida. Although none of these attacks resulted in fatalities, some unfortunate victims suffered severe injuries that necessitated amputations.


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