9-year-old girl bitten by shark at New Smyrna Beach

Girl was knee deep in water at time of bite

A 9-year-old girl was bitten by a shark Friday morning at New Smyrna Beach, officials said.

The girl, named Maggie, received 12 stitches after becoming the 10th shark bite victim in Volusia County this year.

Volusia County officials said the Ohio girl was bitten on her right leg while in knee-deep water near 27th Avenue.

Beach Safety Patrol Capt. Tamra Malphurs said the girl suffered injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening. Her mother took her to a nearby hospital as a precaution, officials said.

Maggie and her family described the moment she was bitten.

"It stung but then it also kind of burned," Maggie said.

Maggie said she was swimming when she felt the shark sink its teeth into her leg.

"When I started swimming, the shark bit my leg and there's three marks back here that torn through with the teeth, and just, like, two rows of teeth," Maggie said.

Maggie's sister, Jaidyn, said she didn't believe Maggie at first.

"She screamed and we said, 'Stop faking,' and then she came up to me and pulled my leg and I knew that was real," Jaidyn said.

Malphurs said the number of shark bites in Volusia County has been above average the last couple of years, but that it's always changing.

"Those sharks come in closer to shore to feed on the bait fish and then that's where people swim," Malphurs said.


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