Florida shark attack leaves teen with 'serious injuries'

Great white shark warnings are being posted on beaches on opposite sides of the country

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A teenage girl is expected to lose her leg after sustaining "serious injuries" in a shark attack Thursday at a Florida beach. 

Addison had been "scalloping near Grassy Island" in 5-foot waters when an undetermined type of shark bit her right thigh, according to a Facebook post by her father, Shane Bethea. Addison reportedly tried "poking it in the eyes and punching it" but it would not release. The shark was described as being about nine feet long. 

The girl's brother, Rhett Willingham, reportedly beat the shark until it let go of the teenager. Willingham then took his sister to a nearby boat, where he tied a tourniquet to minimize the blood loss, according to Bethea's post. She was then transported to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare via helicopter with "serious injuries." 

Taylor County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Gina Deeson told USA Today the teen was in surgery at around 6 p.m. that night. 

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A shark warning advisory sign at Capistrano Beach warns beachgoers of possible shark dangers. 

A shark warning advisory sign at Capistrano Beach warns beachgoers of possible shark dangers.  (iStock)

Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett told WCTV the teen would lose her leg but was expected to survive. Deeson told Fox News Digital said the teen was in serious but stable condition. Deeson also told Fox News Digital an amputation has not yet been confirmed. 

"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," Bethea posted on Facebook. 

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Bethea said Addison was sedated until Friday morning. She continued to communicate with her parents with her phone and was eventually extubated. 

A tiger shark swimming.

A tiger shark swimming. (iStock)

The attack is the second this week in the U.S. A recent study from Cal State Long Beach and the University of Minnesota found that juvenile white sharks have been found to swim along Southern California shores during busy beach hours. 

In this May 22, 2019, file photo, a couple stands next to a shark warning sign while looking at the ocean at Lecount Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, Mass. 

In this May 22, 2019, file photo, a couple stands next to a shark warning sign while looking at the ocean at Lecount Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, Mass.  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

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On the other side of the country, Massachusetts researchers are warning beachgoers of the presence of great white sharks. The warm weather on the Cape coincides with the sharks' migration patterns, and they will be a "constant presence" in the area from June until fall, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy scientist Megan Winton told The Associated Press.