16-year-old Florida girl bitten by shark while boogie boarding in knee-deep water: 'Felt like a jaw snap on my foot'
A 16-year-old teenager was rushed to the hospital after she was bitten by a shark in Florida.
Jackie Jozaitis was boogie boarding with a couple of her friends just off the coast of Amelia Island on Friday, July 12 morning when the incident took place.
Jackie revealed that she could feel the shark's teeth when it attacked the back of her foot and narrowly missed her Achilles tendon.
As reported by Fox13, Jackie, who had been in just knee-high water, said, "I felt like a jaw snap on my foot." She shared that she began to run out of the water post the attack and upon reaching the shore looked down to find that her foot was "open".
A friend who was with her was fresh out of medical camp and rushed to her rescue.
"She grabbed a towel, wrapped my foot and elevated it," Jackie shared.
The teenager did her best to remain calm and composed and also took a picture of herself smiling while on the ambulance. "I figured out if I stay calm they would too, so I was like 'OK, I'm going to be OK,'" she added. Her mother Robin Jozaitis who was nearly 300 miles away in Sarasota also did her best to keep calm. "The chances are so unlikely. It was just so surprising," Robin said.
Jackie was extremely lucky as the bite was only a centimeter away from her Achilles tendon. The doctors were unable to identify the type of shark which attacked Jackie. They also shared that she cannot put any weight on her foot for around six to eight weeks which is a major disappointment to the teen who is part of the marching band and championship color guard team at Sarasota High School. "I was kind of frustrated because I really love doing it. It's something I really have a passion for," Jackie said.
She is now fully focused on her recovery while her friends and family are gifting her many shark-related presents to make her smile. The attack had taken place early in the morning and experts share that it is best to avoid the water around dawn and dusk as sharks tend to feed then.
According to the International Shark Attack File, 2018 had a low record of shark bites worldwide with only 66 incidents recorded as compared to 88 in 2017. Out of the 66 in 2018, 32 attacks took place in U.S. waters. Florida was home to half of the 32 attacks with 16 overall attacks last year.