EXCLUSIVE: Brave 13-year-old girl fights off shark during attack at Florida beach

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A brave 13-year-old girl fought off a shark while being attacked at a Florida beach Thursday and now she is sharing her heroic story with Local 10 News.

Ella Reed was sitting in shallow water with her friend near a jetty at Fort Pierce Beach when she suddenly felt a sharp pain on her side.

“The shark itself was so powerful. That was what I felt the most because it was hitting my stomach really hard,” she said.

Reed told Local 10 News that she punched the shark as it approached her, but shortly after the shark swam away, it ended up swimming right back to her.

“It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I had to use my arm and use my hand too, so it got my arm and my finger,” she said.

Reed received 19 stitches after being bitten by shark. (IG: EllaReede_)

After being approached once again by the shark, Reed immediately called for her mom and brother.

Reed’s mother said that she was in shock after seeing the shark swimming around her daughter.

“It was insane because she was totally covered in blood pretty much from head to toe so she couldn’t really see what went on,” said Reed’s mother. She was shaking but she was calm.

Reed told Local 10 News that she received 19 stitches after being bitten in the stomach, arm, finger and the top of her knee.

“I was kinda in shock about everything that happened, so I wasn’t really in pain because the adrenaline was through the roof,” she said.

Reed, a Florida native, said that she’s never been afraid of the ocean and even after this encounter, she plans on getting right back into the water.

“It was clear water so you never really know when it’s going to happen,” she said.

Reed believes she was bitten by a bull shark about 5 to 6 feet long and is at home recovering.

Reed says she is proud of the scars she has because she knows it could’ve been so much worse.

(Photo Courtesy: IG: EllaReed_)

About the Authors:

Jenise Fernandez joined the Local 10 News team in November 2014. She is thrilled to be back home reporting for the station she grew up watching. Jenise, who is from Miami and graduated from Florida International University, also interned at Local 10 while she was in college.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.