A teenager who was attacked by sharks last week near Tallahassee in Florida now has to have a surgery to remove one of her legs.
Addison Bethea (17 years old) was snorkeling off Keaton Beach when a shark approached her and bit her. Although witnesses and authorities have not been able to determine the exact species of shark that attacked Bethea's, people who witnessed it later estimated that the shark was approximately 9 feet in length.
CBS Miami reported that Bethea will have to undergo an amputation scheduled Tuesday following the shark biting the upper portion of her right leg. Bethea recounted details of the incident in a recent interview at the hospital, where she is receiving treatment. She explained how her older brother Rhett Willingham, a firefighter, was able to fight off the shark and provide emergency medical assistance after pulling Bethea to safety.
She said, "We scalloped for around two hours, we went to last spot, obviously for only 15 minutes, and then we were moving towards the boat, and I felt like an tug." Bethea then said that she tried to punch the shark in the nose but was unable due to its "weird" position.
She added, "Then it tried and drag me underwater because I was in six feet of water."
CBS Miami's Willingham said that his sister shouted out while he was eight feet away from Bethea. He said, "I stood up and turned around to see what was happening because it sounded as if something scared her." "She was submerged and she came up, and blood was all around her. I then saw the shark."
He pulled Bethea out of the shark's grasp, moved her to a boat, and applied a preliminary tourniquet on her leg to reduce blood loss. Michele Murphy, the mother of the siblings, praised Willingham, and called Bethea's survival "a miracle."
Murphy stated that Murphy knew Murphy was right. Murphy also said, "My daughter, according to medical standards, shouldn't be alive right now." It's a miracle that she survived and I'm certain that if Rhett wasn't there to support her, we might be in a completely different situation right now.
Bethea is positive that she will be able to return to the water, despite the long recovery process.
She said, "Don't be afraid of the ocean." My Instagram account was filled with comments from people saying that they were afraid of the ocean. However, I will still go to the ocean if I get better and heal. "Don't let fear take over your life. I will continue to do what I love.
Thursday's attack is the latest in a disturbing pattern of similar incidents. After several years of decreasing shark numbers, the number of attacks on sharks increased in 2021. There were more incidents in the United States than in any other country. Nearly 40% of all the unprovoked shark attacks reported worldwide were caused by incidents in Florida. The National Weather Service estimates that approximately 270 Americans are struck by lightning each and every year.