Addison Bethea Florida teen girl, 17, who lost part of her leg in Keaton Beach shark attack tried punching shark before her brother saved her life. Faces long road to recovery.
A Florida teen who lost part of her leg in a shark attack while scalloping on Thursday in shallow waters at one point tried punching the shark but to no avail. In the end, the girl survived the unprovoked shark attack after a relative jumped in the water and beat the predator off her.
Addison Bethea, 17, of Perry, was scalloping at Keaton Beach in Taylor County in 5ft deep water when the 9-foot predator suddenly attacked.
Explained the teen’s father, Shane Bethea on Facebook: ‘The shark bit her once and then attacked her again on her right thigh. She tried poking it in the eyes and punching it but it would not turn loose.’
Adding, ‘She’s been through more than I could ever imagine but she is being a trooper.’
‘Please pray for her and the difficulty of her days ahead.’
Long road to recovery
It was only after Addison’s brother Rhett gallantly intervened, battering the predator until it finally loosened its grip according to the siblings’ father.
From there, the brother dragged a traumatised Addison into the boat of a passing stranger.
‘Rhett put a tourniquet on her leg to minimize blood loss to the massive injury and kept her awake, ultimately saving her life,’ Shane Bethea on FB.
Bethea was then airlifted to a Tallahassee hospital Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett told CBS News.
Addison now faces a long road to recovery.
‘The nerve on the back of her thigh was damaged severely,’ Addison’s dad continued on FB. ‘There is an unreal amount of damage to her thigh area. The doctors are unsure at this point as to the condition of the leg and want to take it day by day to see what will have to be done.’
Addison was sedated until Friday morning when she regained consciousness and communicated with her parents through her phone — and quickly requested a Wendy’s frosty, Shane Bethea posted on FB.
Florida rising incidence of shark attacks
‘She was in good spirits and cracking jokes about beating up the shark,’ the father continued. ‘She isn’t out of the woods by any stretch, but she is alive and that’s what’s most important to us. We appreciate all of the support and Addison wanted me to tell you thank you as well.’
Addison’s mother, Michelle Murphy, also posted about her daughter’s terrifying ordeal on Facebook.
‘She’s a tough cookie and she has a long road ahead of her but she’s alive and that’s all this mama cares about,’ she said, adding that Addison is surrounded by friends and family at her bedside.
Wednesday’s incident comes as Florida continues to top the global charts for shark bites and accounts for nearly 40 percent of unprovoked shark bites worldwide, according to The International Shark File (ISAF).
Shark attacks increased around the world in 2021 following three consecutive years of decline, according to ain January, with the U.S dominating the balance of attacks.