A teenage girl was seriously injured in a shark attack off the northwest coast of Florida but is expected to survive, authorities say.
Addison Bethea, 17, was hunting scallops on the coast off Keaton Beach when a shark wrapped its jaws around her thigh.
The shark was aggressive and repeatedly attacked her, with Addison punching and punching her in the eye before her brother separated her and pulled her onto a stranger’s boat.
His brother, Rhett Willingham – who is a firefighter and emergency medical technician – then applied a tourniquet to his leg to stem the blood loss.
Ms Bethea suffered “serious injuries” in the attack and had to be airlifted to the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) Trauma and Emergency Center, about 70 miles down the beach.
Officials said the species of shark is unknown.
Doctors told family members that his leg was badly damaged in the attack, with TMH describing it as “devastating soft tissue damage to his right leg”.
Trauma specialists managed to stabilize her before the hospital’s trauma surgeon performed emergency surgery to restore blood flow to her leg.
Ms Bethea is scheduled to undergo a second surgery on Saturday “to further investigate the extent of the damage to her leg and determine what treatment options are available in an effort to save her leg”, TMH said.
“Addison has a long road to recovery, but she was in good spirits today surrounded by her family in the Tallahassee Memorial Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
“Addison’s family would like to thank their community in Taylor County and everyone who reached out with their prayers and support during this difficult time,” the hospital added.