Florida teenager will have leg amputated after shark bite

Florida teenager will have leg amputated following shark attack near Cedar Key. (Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

CEDAR KEY, Fla. – A 17-year-old will have her leg amputated on Tuesday, after she suffered a shark bite near Cedar Key last week.

Addison Bethea was scalloping in water about five-feet deep when she encountered the shark. She says she tried to fight the shark off, when her brother, who is a firefighter stepped in to help.

“I didn’t really know exactly what to do but I knew that with sharks you’re supposed to punch him in the nose to get him off of you and I couldn’t get around to punch in the nose. So then I just started socking it in the face and then I poked its eyes and then I tried to latch it off of me with my fingers and then it bit my hand and I screamed for help and then my brother came and saved me,” said Bethea.

Her brother Rhett Willingham, says he had help when he went in to help her.

“There was another boat that pulled up like right next to us to get her. So he helped me load her in the boat and then we put the tourniquet on her and then got her back to land as fast as possible,” said Willingham.

Bethea says once she’s healed, she won’t be afraid to go back into the water.

About the Author:

Veronica Crespo writes for Local10.com and also oversees the Español section of the website. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism and Spanish.