A Florida girl is making headlines after a recent trip to the beach. While in a jetty at Fort Pierce Beach, she encountered one of the ocean’s most fearsome predators – a shark – and thankfully managed to escape the attack by using her fists to punch the creature.
13-year-old Ella Reed was sitting in shallow water with her friend when she suddenly felt a sharp pain in her side. “The shark itself was so powerful,” she told Local 10 News. “That was what I felt the most because it was hitting my stomach really hard.”
According to Reed, it bit her in the stomach first, prompting her to punch it away. However, the shark swam back at her, and she urged her friend to get to safety as she tried to fend off the animal. As she told TODAY, “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.”
Thinking her mother wasn’t home, Reed FaceTimed her brother. Devin Reed was actually at the house, but thought her daughter was pulling a prank. “At first I thought she was joking actually, and then she says, ‘I’m not joking!’ And then she took the camera and she panned it on her body, and I kind of just froze and freaked out.”
Reed’s friend drove her home in a golf cart, after which her mother took her to a nearby fire department. She was then brought to the hospital, where she received 19 stitches. As doctors examined her, they found she’d received bites to her stomach, arm, finger and the top of her knee.
“I was kinda in shock about everything, so I wasn’t really in pain because the adrenaline was through the roof,” she said.
A brave teenager has somehow survived a terrifying shark attack in southern Florida. It happened in waist deep water and left surfer Ella Reed with multiple wounds. https://t.co/5zYfOfFT4D #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/1iKfqhwboS
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) May 15, 2023
Reed believes it was a five-to-six-foot-long bull shark that attacked her. Found in shallow oceans and rivers worldwide, the sea creature is known for its aggressive nature. It tends to prefer areas where the water is warm.
According to the University of Florida, the state is the shark bite capital of the world, with the majority of unprovoked attacks occurring in the United States and Australia. In 2022, 57 unprovoked and 37 provoked assaults occurred worldwide, with 16 documented in Florida.
Reed is recovering at home and plans to return to the ocean once she’s completely healed. She’s proud of her scars, as she knows the encounter could have been much worse. “She’s like, ‘If I went through it, I’m going to show people,'” her mother said. “No, she will not let me help with those scars whatsoever.”