Kaia Anderson, 14, was bitten on the foot by a spinner shark while surfing with friends at Floridana Beach, Florida, United States.
The incident occurred an hour or two before sunset on 18 November 2017.
“I felt a tug on my leg,” she said and shouted to her friends that she been bitten. They turned and caught a wave to the beach.
A witness said when she got to shore she couldn’t stand up. A nearby fisherman carried her to a the beach access. A friend of Kaia who had been watching the surf, wrapped his shirt around her ankle. They called an ambulance and she was taken to Sebastian River Medical Center.
She needed 100 stitches to mend the shark bite wound, including 3 tendons that were damaged.
Kaia’s father said the shark was likely swimming toward food, but clamped onto Kaia’s heel instead. He said after the shark bit Kaia it immediately let go.
“I knew I had to get to shore quick or I would have been dead,” she told the press. “You have superhuman strength that you don’t know you had until something like that happens to you. It’s a primal thing. You just do it.”
Peteka managed to get to shore where she bled profusely and became light-headed.
“I just started screaming, ‘Help me, I’m going to die,'” Peteka said.
A nearby resident heard her cries, called 911 and wrapped a towel above the wound.
She was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center.
An orthopedic hand surgeon at the hospital, Dr. Thomas Saylor, said her hand was “shredded”, adding that it appeared the shark shook her wrist from side to side.
“Her bite wounds are pretty traumatic,” Saylor said. “It’s a devastating injury.”
Her injuries to her left hand and wrist included 20 torn tendons and
ligaments, a severed artery, two fractured bones and nerve damage.
Doctors found a piece of shark tooth wedged in her wrist bone.
“It’s going to keep me out of the water,” Peteka said. “I love swimming with a passion. But now, I can’t look at it. I can’t think about it. I don’t know that I can ever go back again.”
Jason Hartl, 17, was surfing on the south side of the Juno Beach Pier when he was bitten on the left foot, by a shark – believed to be a black tip shark. He needed more than 50 stitches to mend the bite.
He was about 200 metres from shore when the incident happened on 23 October 2017.
The shark bit his foot and pulled him off his surfboard into the water.
“I was like paddling out and then I was just about to where I wanted to be to like catch a wave and then all of a sudden a shark came up and bit my foot,” he told the media.
He managed to get back on his board and paddle to shore.
“I felt like my whole foot was dangling,” said Hartl. “I started paddling. I didn’t want to look at it and get all panicked.”
Once on shore he collapsed after telling a boy he had been bitten by a shark. A lifeguard covered the wound until paramedics arrived and transported him to Jupiter Medical Center where his wound was stitched up.
Although he only saw the shark’s tail, he thought it could have been a black tip shark, about 3 to 4 feet long.
“I was lucky but not everyone could be as lucky as me and they could potentially lose their foot.”
He told media: “What I wish I would’ve done differently is stayed away from the pier just because I definitely think that enhanced my chances of getting bit because sharks are attracted to the bait in the water.” He said that when he was bitten about 15 people were fishing from the Juno Beach Pier, and he was 25-50 feet south of the pier when he was bitten.
Carlos Iribam, a part-time lifeguard for beaches in Lantana and Boynton beaches, suffered minor lacerations when he was bitten on the right foot by a 4-5 foot spinner shark, 20 feet from the shore at Lantana Municipal Beach, Florida, US.
The incident happened on 18 October 2017.
“I was out there swimming and then I got stung by a jellyfish, I was like ‘Ahhh, I think I should go back in,'” he said. “Next thing you know, I felt a crushing pain on my foot.”
He came to shore himself and received assistance from his fellow lifeguards.
“I like to stay calm in these situations. I didn’t want anybody on the beach to freak out,” he said.
“If you don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with you. I felt like when he bit me, he nipped me and pulled. It just felt like a crushing pain and he just let go because he knew it wasn’t a mullet,” he said.