Shark attack horror as teenager ‘punches’ 9ft beast after watching documentary
4th July 2022

Great White shark near Sanctuary Beach minutes after an attack

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Addison Bethea, 17, said she was following advice she had seen in a nature documentary. The brave teen was attacked in the Gulf of Mexico near Keaton Beach in Florida.

Recalling what happened to her, she told ABC’s Good Morning America something latched onto her leg.

Addison said: “I was like, that’s not right. And then I look over and it’s a big old shark.

“Then I remember from watching the Animal Planet to like… punch [it] in the nose or something like that.

“And I couldn’t get around to his nose, the way he bit me.”

Fearing the worst, Addison’s brother Rhett Willingham frantically swam over to help.

He told ABC News: “She came back up and I saw, like, the blood and everything. And I saw the shark.

“So then I swam over there, grabbed her and then pushed them all, kind of trying to separate them.

“And he just kept coming. So I grabbed her, swam backwards and kicked him and then yelled for help.”

Addison, from Perry, Florida, was airlifted to hospital in Tallahassee with serious injuries.

She was due to undergo a second surgery on Saturday (July 2) to assess what her treatment options are, but there are fears she may lose a leg.

Taylor County Sheriff’s Office said it was unclear what species of shark attacked Addison, but it was described as being about nine feet long.

Officials added: “Swimmers and scallopers are cautioned to be alert, vigilant and practice shark safety.

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“Some rules to follow are: never swim alone, do not enter the water near fishermen, avoid areas such as sandbars (where sharks like to congregate), do not swim near large schools of fish, and avoid erratic movements while in the water.”

The shark attack on Addison came ahead of two women being killed in Egypt’s Red Sea, south of the city of Hurghada.

The body of a Romanian tourist in her late forties was found hours after an attack which left a 68-year-old Austrian woman dead.

Both shark attacks happened within 600 metres of each other, off the coast of Sahl Hasheesh, according to sources.

Egypt’s Ministry of Environment said in statement a committee had been formed to examine the circumstances of the attacks and any scientific reasons for them.

It also mentioned the Governor of the Red Sea Governorate, Major General Amr Hanafi, has issued an order to suspend all activity in the area surrounding the attacks.

The first victim was transferred to a local private hospital, according to a source at the Red Sea Health Affairs Directorate.

He added there were attempts to resuscitate her, but she died from her injuries.

A security source also added the Austrian woman had been living in Egypt over the past five years with her Egyptian husband.

She died from circulatory failure – a sudden drop in blood pressure resulting from her injuries and blood loss.

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