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

Ella Reed gets 19 stitches after attack off Fort Pierce Beach

Fort Pierce. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A brave 13-year-old girl fought off a shark while being attacked at a Florida beach Thursday, and she shared her story with News 6 partner WPLG-TV.

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 WPLG-TV 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, who added that she was shaking but was calm.

Reed said she received 19 stitches after being bitten in the stomach, arm, finger and the top of her knee.

Shark bite (Photo Courtesy: IG: EllaReed_)

“I was kind of 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, who believes she was bitten by a bull shark about 5 to 6 feet long, is at home recovering.

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

Brave Florida teen shares story with Local 10 News after being bit by shark multiple times

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.