(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images) KEATON BEACH, Fla. - A teenage girl was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries Thursday after she was attacked by a shark while scalloping with her family in Florida, authorities said.According to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded Thursday afternoon to Keaton Beach in the Big Bend area along the Gulf Coast, where a juvenile had been bitten by a shark near Grassy Island in water about 5 feet deep.It’s unclear what kind of shark bit her, but it was described as approximately 9 feet long. A family member reportedly jumped in the water and "beat the shark" until the girl was freed.The teen was airlifted to a Tallahassee hospital with serious injuries.
Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett later said that it "looks like she’s going to lose her leg," but she’s expected to survive.RELATED: Fisherman bitten by shark near Bahamas rescued by Coast GuardShark attacks increased around the world in 2021 following three consecutive years of decline, and a new study says sharks are swimming closer to crowded beaches than previously thought. Florida has led the U.S. and the rest of the world in unprovoked shark bites for decades, and the trend continued in 2021, researchers said.
Florida had 28 unprovoked bites last year, compared to 19 in the rest of the U.S. and 26 total outside the U.S.
This is consistent with Florida’s most recent five-year annual average of 25 attacks.RELATED: WATCH: Large shark spotted close to shore at Florida dog beachOf Florida’s 28 unprovoked bites, 17 were in Volusia County, which includes Daytona Beach.Unprovoked attacks occur when there is no human provocation. Provoked attacks are defined as when humans initiate contact, such as divers
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