A shark attack over the weekend on a Florida beach left a baby tooth embedded in the skin of an 11-year-old girl as she was boogie boarding in knee-deep water. She felt the shark sink its teeth into her lower leg.
The incident occurred at Winter Haven Park in Ponce Inlet on Saturday. “At first I wasn’t thinking about pain, I was thinking I got bit by a shark and I have to go to the emergency room,” she told Florida’s WKMG Local 6. “Then I felt the sting and it hurt real bad.”
The shark bit her twice — once on the lower leg and once on the heel. A couple of strangers quickly jumped into action, wrapping her leg in a towel and rushing her to their car, the news station reported.
When Breihan got to the hospital, doctors discovered a small tooth in one of the bites. She was stitched up and is expected to make a full recovery.
The shark attack victim won’t be going swimming for a while though. “I don’t think I would go back in the water just because I’m going to wait,” she told WKMG. Breihan is lucky.
Still, the fortunate sixth grader will have a story of how she survived a shark attack to tell her classmates, not to mention that souvenir tooth.
Earlier this month, a 20-year-old German woman died after a shark bit her arm off as she snorkeled on a Maui beach. The last time someone in Hawaii died from a shark attack was in 2004, when a tiger shark bit Willis McInnis in the leg while he was surfing 100 yards off Maui. McInnis suffered severe blood loss and died on the shore despite rescue efforts by beachgoers, police, and paramedics.
As for shark attacks in Florida, Breihan’s was the twelfth of the year and the second for the month of August, according to the Shark Attack Survivors website. Christian Mercurio, a 17-year-old vacationing from New Jersey, received a bite to his right leg off the island of Sanibel on Aug. 5.
The last fatal attack before that was in 1992. Worldwide, there were seven deaths resulting from unprovoked shark attacks in 2012, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.