This is the 17-year-old girl bitten by a shark off a Florida beach and saved by her EMT brother.
Addison Bethea and her half-brother, Rhett Willingham, 22, went scalloping in 5 feet of water near Grassy Island off Keaton Beach in Taylor County.
Rhett tapped me and something grabbed my leg. “That’s not Rhett,” I said. Addison told WTXL, “There’s a giant shark.”
‘I knew from animal planet you’re meant to smack them in the nose, but he bit me,’ she said.
Her father, Shane Addison, 46, told DailyMail.com on Friday his daughter was in brother Rhett’s boat a mile and a half off-shore when she was hit in the leg.
‘Addison assumed her brother was simply playing until a 9-foot shark hooked onto her thigh,’ he said.
As his daughter pulled the shark off her leg, her brother hammered on it incessantly to free her. Once free, he took her to his boat. A stranger noticed the couple’s plight.
Rhett put his sister on the stranger’s yacht and applied a 4-foot tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
Shane: “The shark hurt her.” She was pale and shocked.
When Rhett called for an ambulance, she was transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital 80 miles away.
Emergency surgery was performed on Addison. Now, doctors must decide if they can salvage a piece of the limb for prosthesis.
She has surgery Saturday.
Shark attacked her right leg, destroying her front quad muscle. It was an awful wound. A vascular surgeon transformed a vein in the left leg into an artery for the right leg.
“She lost her leg, but surgeons are fighting not to amputate her hip,” he said.
Her father stated the shark attacked her leg first, but the second bite was the worse.
‘The shark bit her leg and thrashed. Sharks pull meat off. It’s how sharks attack.
His daughter was anesthetized and tube-fed. She didn’t know the damage’s degree until he told her.
Upon waking, she was intubated and unable to talk. We gave her our phone and she requested a Wendy’s Frosty.
His father stated Addison was happy but melancholy at times. Her ICU buddies also visited.
Shane stated his daughter was a cheerleader, played tennis, and was quite busy in her senior year of high school.
Saturday’s procedure will show what the doctors can do. Above the knee or by the hip,’ said Shane.
Surgeons will try to save enough tissue from her lower leg to fit a prosthesis.
“She’s alive is the most important thing!” – Shane
The sheriff’s office warns swimmers and scallopers to be alert, cautious, and shark safe.
Never swim alone is a key beach rule. Not to swim near fisherman, especially sandbars where sharks gather.
Avoid swimming near large schools of fish and make unpredictable movements in the water.
On June 22, a 62-year-old man suffered’major injuries to his stomach and leg’ at Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove, north of Monterey, California.
Shark attacked Steve Bruemmer around 11 am.
He was taken to Natividad Medical Center where he had no artery or organ damage.
Bruemmer, a triathlete, has swum in the bay twice a week for 10 years.
A nurse and police officer paddleboarding close heard the swimmer’s calls for help and raced to his aid.
Bruemmer, grateful to be alive, thanked the good samaritans.
The day following the attack, Bruemmer believed the shark bite was unlucky. After then, I’ve had so much luck.
Tracking Sharks gives information about shark attacks across the world, why they occur, and how to avoid them in the future.
As of July 1, 2022, there have been 32 shark attack bites (3 provoked), 4 fatal attacks, according to the site.
Tracking Sharks reports 15 shark attacks in the US (Hawaii 0, Florida 9, California 1) and 9 in Australia (one fatal).
If you encounter a shark in the water, stay stationary and don’t swim away.
If a shark attacks, experts advise hitting it in the nose due to its sensitivity. In most circumstances, that will repel the shark, say experts.
If a shark is circling someone in the water but isn’t a threat, they advise staying motionless and attentive until it swims away.
Florida accounts for roughly 40% of unprovoked shark bites globally, according to The International Shark File (ISAF).
The ISAF, housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida, is the “sole global scientifically confirmed database of shark attacks.”
ISAF has conducted more than 6,800 studies from the early 1500s to the present since 1958.
Volusia County, Florida, is the Shark Bite Capital of the World, with 17 bites, or 63% of all Florida attacks.