Teen Swimming off Florida Coast Punched Shark as It Bit Her


A Kentucky teenager punched a shark as it bit her while she was swimming off the Florida coast Sunday, authorities said.

Caitlyn Taylor of Louisville, 17, was swimming in an area behind a condominium in Destin, Florida, when a shark bit her leg, the Courier-Journal reported.

As the shark bit her, the quick-thinking teen punched the five-foot shark.

The Atherton High School student was in Destin with her school’s softball team for a tournament when the incident occurred.

The shark bit her while she was in waist-deep water at around 3:39 p.m., according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Michele Nicholson, an Okaloosa County Sheriff spokesperson, said the shark tugged on her legs before turning her loose.

“She was hitting it with her hand and then it released” its bite, Nicholson said.

Taylor suffered six puncture wounds from the shark bite and cuts on her hand and both legs, ABC News reported.

Her mother Tracey, told ABC News affiliate KBMT that her daughter had to get “120 to 140 stitches.”

Taylor posted an update on Twitter Sunday evening after the attack, along with a picture of the wounds.

“Beyond lucky to be alive and well and thank you to everyone for the support and wishes and I’m going to be okay, love you guys,” she wrote on Twitter.

The attack was “only the fourth documented attack off Okaloosa County beaches since 1882,” the Northwest Florida Daily News reported, and the sheriff’s department said authorities are not sure what type of shark attacked Taylor.


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