Girl Loses Leg After Nine-Foot Shark Attacks Her At Florida Beach

Great white shark underwater diagonal, mouth open

Photo: Getty Images

A teenage girl lost her long after she was attacked by a shark off the coast of Keaton Beach in Florida. The Taylor County Sheriff's Office said the girl, who was not identified, was scalloping with her family in about five feet of water near Grassy Island.

Officials did not say what type of shark attacked the girl but noted it was about nine feet long.

A family member jumped into the water and fought off the shark. The girl was airlifted to a hospital in Tallahassee, which is about 80 miles away.

"A family member reportedly jumped in the water and beat the shark until the juvenile was free," the sheriff's office wrote in a news release.

Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett told WCTV that girl underwent emergency surgery and will likely lose her leg.

"It's a tragedy, what's happened," he told the news station.

Authorities advised swimmers to be cautious and vigilant when in the water.

"Boaters and swimmers are cautioned to be alert, vigilant, and practice shark safety," the sheriff's office said. "Some rules to follow are: never swim alone, do not enter the water near fishermen, avoid areas such as sandbars (where sharks like to congregate), do not swim near large schools of fish, and avoid erratic movements while in the water."

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