Woman bitten by shark off Cocoa Beach

Jill Kruse, 28, punches shark to stop attack

By Troy Campbell - Reporter

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - A 28-year-old woman is recovering after being bitten on the leg by a shark as she waded in the Atlantic Ocean off Cocoa Beach.

The family of Jill Kruse told News 6 that she is in great spirits after the Sunday attack.

Jill Kruse's mother, Wanda Kruse, said her daughter arrived in Florida from Colorado on Saturday for a family vacation.

"We knew it had to be a shark," said Wanda Kruse. "You know, you just don't think it's real, that it really happens, because we were there 10 minutes."

Wanda Kruse said the family was at the 11th Street beach access and had only been there for a short time when the shark grabbed hold of her daughter's leg.

"I just covered the wound. The guy, I had him get towels. We wrapped it with towels until the paramedics got there," said Wanda Kruse.

Wanda Kruse said her daughter punched the shark in an attempt to get away, adding that the shark had a tough grip on her leg.  Officials haven't determined what kind of shark bit her.

"I told everybody about rip currents, warned them about rip currents," Wanda Kruse said. "(I) forgot to tell them about sharks."

She said the family is counting their blessings after an incident that could have been a lot worse.

"She's just hurting and, you know, she's going to heal.  It's going to take a while to heal, but we are just so blessed to have her," said Wanda Kruse.

Jill Kruse received stitches on her hand for her wounds from punching the shark. Her family said on Monday doctors will decide what type of surgery to conduct on her calf, which was described as a serious injury.

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