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Teen will lose leg after brother rescued her from shark assault in Florida


{The teenager} who survived a shark assault final week close to Tallahassee, Florida, now faces an upcoming surgical procedure to amputate considered one of her legs. 

Addison Bethea, a 17-year-old from the close by metropolis of Perry, was scalloping in shallow waters off the coast of Keaton Seaside on Thursday when a shark out of the blue approached and bit her. Neither authorities nor witnesses have been in a position to verify the species of shark that attacked Bethea, though individuals who noticed it occur later estimated that the animal was roughly 9 toes lengthy.

Bethea is scheduled to endure a scheduled amputation Tuesday after the shark latched onto the higher a part of her proper leg, CBS Miami reported. Recounting particulars in regards to the incident throughout a current interview on the hospital the place she is presently receiving therapy, Bethea defined how her older brother, firefighter Rhett Willingham, managed to fend off the shark and supply emergency medical help after pulling her to security. 

“We had been scalloping for about two hours and we went to the final spot, clearly for less than like quarter-hour, and we had been going in the direction of the boat and I felt like a tug,” she stated. Bethea then recalled trying to punch the shark in its nostril, however famous that she was unable to take action due to its “bizarre place.”

“Then it tried to tug me underwater as a result of we had been in like six toes of water,” she added.

Willingham advised CBS Miami that he was about eight toes from Bethea when he heard his sister yell out. “I stood as much as flip round and see what was happening as a result of it seemed like one thing scared her,” he stated. “And he or she was below the water after which she got here again up and there was blood throughout her and I noticed the shark.”

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Addison Bethea, left, faces an extended battle forward after she was bitten by a shark off Keaton Seaside in Florida. Her brother, Rhett Willingham, helped rescue her.

CBS Miami


He retrieved Bethea from the shark’s maintain earlier than transferring her into a ship and making use of a preliminary tourniquet to her wounded leg to lower blood loss. The siblings’ mom, Michele Murphy, praised Willingham and referred to as her daughter’s survival ” a miracle.”

“My daughter, by medical requirements, shouldn’t be alive proper now and I do know that,” Murphy stated. “It is a miracle she survived this and I do know if Rhett hadn’t been the one which was together with her when it occurred we could also be in a really completely different situation proper now.”

Though Bethea faces an extended restoration, the teenager is optimistic about finally returning to the water.

“Do not be terrified of the ocean,” she stated. “I had so many individuals touch upon my Instagram saying, ‘I am so terrified of the ocean now.’ However I am nonetheless going to get within the ocean after I heal and get higher. I am nonetheless going to do what I really like, do not simply let worry overtake your life.”

Thursday’s assault is without doubt one of the newest in an alarming sample of comparable incidents. Shark assaults elevated worldwide in 2021, following a number of consecutive years of declining numbers, with extra recorded within the U.S. than every other nation. Roughly 40% of the 73 unprovoked shark bites reported globally stemmed from incidents that occurred in Florida. In distinction, the Nationwide Climate Service estimates roughly 270 folks within the U.S. are struck by lightning annually. 



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