Florida, US (BBN)-A 10-year-old girl was savagely attacked by a shark while swimming at a Florida beach this week, and bravely waded back into the water to rescue a younger friend.
Kaley Szarmarck was playing in three to four feet of water at a Jacksonville beach around 3:30pm on Wednesday when she felt a sharp pain below the knee on her right leg and looked down to see a 3-foot-long shark, reports the Daily Mail.
The 10-year-old’s first instinct was to run out of the water, but when she looked back she saw that a 6-year-old friend was still swimming and she went back in to get the younger girl out to safety.
‘She turned and yelled to her friend get out of the water! It’s a shark! So this little girl ran, a friend of our daughters, to go get the moms. And Kaley walked herself out of the ocean,’ her father, Dave Szarmack, told WJXT.
‘And she realized the six-year-old was still in the water. So she turned around and went back and got the six-year-old and took her out of the water. She pulled the little girl back out of the water.’
The proud father, who happens to be a firefighter, says it was difficult to see his daughter in so much pain.
‘You see all kinds of things as a fireman, but when you see your baby, even if it was a little blood, but this was, to see it, I was just, it was really difficult to see. It was just tough. That’s my little girl,’ he said.
Lifeguards and firefighters were on the scene just minutes after Kaley came out of the water, bleeding profusely from her leg.
She was taken to Wolfson Children’s Hospital where she underwent an hour surgery as doctors stitched up her wound with 90 stitches.
Doctors have been keeping her in the hospital to monitor the wound for any infection, but believe she will be able to make a full recovery.
‘She’ll be able to run, jump, swim and surf in not too long of healing time. Going to have a pretty big scar and quite a story to tell though,’ her dad said.