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12-Year-Old Survives Shark Attack While Swimming at Florida Beach


A shark attack in Cocoa Beach, Florida left a 12-year-old girl injured on Monday. While swimming south of the beach's pier earlier this week, Magnolia Woodhead was attacked by a shark, Fox 35 Orlando reported on Wednesday. "Right when I got out of the water, I just started screaming because I knew that it wasn't good," Woodhead told the outlet. "My husband picks her up, and I could see blood dripping down her leg," her mother Melissa Stallings added. The preteen was taken to a hospital for treatment, where she received 50 stitches. Per Fox 35 Orlando, doctors told Woodhead that they believed the number of puncture wounds indicated the shark had bitten her twice. Stallings shared that there appeared to be "about 75 to 100" of the puncture wounds "up and down her little thigh."


However, gymnastics enthusiast Woodhead was less concerned about the attack than the impact it might have on an upcoming contest. She and her family had traveled from Philadelphia for a gymnastics competition and the shark attack came during a beach outing the family had taken the day before.


"My first thought was, like, I'm not going to do gymnastics," Woodhead told the outlet. "Shark bite was not on the agenda for the day, I'll tell you that," her mom added.

Although Woodhead couldn’t compete this year, she still cheered on her teammates from the sidelines. "I was just there because I really wanted to support my teammates because I know they've worked so hard on this contest and stuff,” she said.


While Woodhead revealed that she won’t be returning to any Florida beaches “for a long time,” the family had a visit to Walt Disney World planned for this week.

The shark attack on Woodhead comes after two men were bitten by sharks in Florida in less than 36 hours in May. As covered by PEOPLE, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said at the time that a shark attacked Kevin Blanco, a 20-year-old from Miami-Dade County, while he was spearfishing with friends in Marathon.

Blanco was about 70 feet under water, according to CBS affiliate WFOR-TV and ABC affiliate WPLG. He said he was bitten twice by what he believed was a 500-lb. bull shark, WFOR-TV reported.


"I just got blindsided...I don't really remember the pain, but I remember the pressure and the force that he hit my leg with," Kevin said, per WFOR-TV and NBC affiliate WTVJ. "It felt like I got hit by an F-150."

Friend Danny Maduro, who witnessed the attack, told WTVJ that he "was in major shock," but quickly "went into survival mode" to help Blanco. Another person called 911, according to WPLG. The caller begged the dispatcher to send help immediately, stating that the victim was "bleeding really bad" and had "a really big gash" in his thigh."


A private boat took Kevin to the Sunset Grille & Raw Bar, and then he was flown to Jackson South Medical Center in Miami for treatment, according to MCSO. The Trauma Star helicopter landed on the Seven Mile Bridge and completed the rescue, the sheriff's office said.

"It was a situation that could have turned very very bad," said his father, Omar Blanco, per WPLG. Omar praised Maduro for saving his son’s life.


"I hardly know Danny, who I consider a hero," he said, who is also a captain with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, according to WFOR-TV. "What he did was miraculous."

Source : people magazine


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