08/31/2014 - Alexandra Masterson - Florida

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08/31/2014 - Alexandra Masterson - Florida

Postby alb » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:28 am

Boca Raton teen bitten by shark in New Smyrna Beach

A Boca Raton teenager said she was bitten by a shark and it's no fish tale — she's got seven stitches to prove it.

Alexandra Masterson, 13, was in waist-deep water in New Smyrna Beach with her father when she felt something hit her, she said.

"But then I was like, I watch TV ... so I thought a shark bit me," Alexandra said. "It didn't hurt that badly when it actually happened."

The incident happened about 4:40 p.m. Sunday about a mile south of a jetty where Alexandra was bodysurfing, Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue Capt. Tammy Marris told WESH-TV in Orlando.

Alexandra stayed calm because her dad, who has paramedic training, comforted her, she said.

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Initially, the teenager thought a turtle had chomped down on her leg, but when her father carried her out of the water, she noticed the puncture wound on her left leg. She then suspected the culprit was something with bigger teeth.

Although Alexandra and her dad never saw the shark in the water, hospital staff told them that she was likely bitten by a spinner shark, said her father, Taun Masterson.

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Earlier this month, a 26-year-old man was bitten by a shark on his right foot off the waters in Hallandale Beach. He, too, was in waist-deep water when it occurred and was treated and released from the hospital on the same day.

In June, a 22-year-old woman suffered a gash on her right leg when she was attacked by a shark in the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale where she was inner-tubing.

She underwent surgery and was expected to make a full recovery.

In March, a 9-year-old boy suffered a bite at John D. MacArthur State Park in North Palm Beach and a man on a kiteboard was bitten on the arm in Delray Beach.

By late Sunday, Alexandra's leg was bandaged up as she left the hospital. The teen, who is an eighth-grader at Omni Middle School, was already texting friends and posting photos on Instagram.

The family's Labor Day weekend vacation will come to an end as they return home Monday evening. And Alexandra will be back to school on Tuesday, she said.

The shark attack won't make her fearful of the water: "I think I'll be fine," Alexandra said.

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