DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A woman is recovering at home in Columbus, Ohio, after being bitten by a shark in Daytona Beach Shores over the weekend.
Tasa Summers, 40, told News 6 she was on vacation with her boyfriend, and they were staying in a hotel right off the beach.
Summers said she spent a lot of time in the water this past Saturday.
“Never thought enjoying the day at the beach would land me in the emergency room with stitches,” Summers said.
She knows sharks lurk in ocean waters but said it was not top of mind while on vacation.
“Obviously, we know when we visit that there are sharks in the ocean, and that’s always going to be a risk — but never did I expect that would happen to me,” Summers said.
She said she first felt a sharp pain in her leg, until it sunk its teeth into her leg.
“I looked down, and the first thing that came to mind was, ‘That’s a shark,’ and the second thing was, ‘And it just bit me.’”
She said all she could think about was not falling in the water, worried it would bite other parts of her body.
Her boyfriend bravely helped by fending off the shark.
“My boyfriend kind of swatted towards its nose which is what they typically tell you to do when you come into contact,” Summers said.
While screaming and bleeding she ran for help on the shore.
“Everyone around was so helpful, and I’m just so thankful for that,” she said.
She said staff from her hotel and even a nurse who happened to be at the beach put a bandage on her wound and tied a makeshift tourniquet around her leg until first responders arrived.
Emergency crews took her to a hospital where she had to get eight stitches on her leg.
“At the top of my ankle, I have the top teeth marks from the shark. The bottom of my ankle kind of had the bottom teeth, and that’s what really grabbed my calf and took a chunk out of that,” Summers said.
(While Summers provided pictures of the wound, News 6 has decided against presenting several of them in this story due to the graphic nature of their content.)
She is now home and healing. She said the incident could have been worse.
Summers is relieved that the shark bit her instead of the small children who were near her at the time.
Although this experience was frightening, she said this will not be her last time at the beach.
“I love the ocean, and I love to be at the beach, so I might have a little bit of hesitancy at first, but it probably won’t last for long,” she said.
She is the fifth person bitten by shark in Volusia County this year.