A brave teenager has gone viral for surviving a terrifying shark attack in southern Florida. Ella Reed told local news channel WPLG that the attack took place on Thursday when she was sitting in the shallow deep water at Fort Pierce Beach. The Class 8 student said she suddenly felt a sharp pain on her side and came face-to-face with the predator. Ms Reed said she punched the shark – “like hit its nose or its face” – forcing the animal to temporarily retreat before it returned.
“The shark itself was so powerful. That was what I felt the most because it was hitting my stomach really hard,” she told the outlet.
“It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I had to use my arm and use my hand too, so it got my arm and my finger,” the 13-year-old added.
Speaking to Today later, the teenager said she believes it was a bull shark.
“I remember just breathing really heavily, and then when it latched on to my stomach, not being able to breathe at all because I was just like, ‘What the heck is happening?'” said Ms Reed.
She then cried out for her mom and brother who were at the beach with her.
“It bit me in the stomach first. And right as it bit me in the stomach, I shoved my arm where it was biting me so it didn’t get my stomach and it got my arm instead. Then I hit it with my other hand, like hit its nose or its face,” Ms Reed told the outlet.
Ella Reed ended up with 19 stitches in all – five on her torso and 14 on her leg. She told Today that it is hard to sleep after the incident, but she’s not letting the attack stop her from returning to the beach and pursuing her dreams of becoming a marine biologist.