Posted: Monday, 02 June 2014 1:32PM

Florida Woman Bit by Shark and Slapped by Fin



iStock/Thinkstock(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- A Florida woman is recovering from an attack by a shark that ripped into her leg and smacked her in the face with its fin.

Jessica Vaughn, 22, of Coral Springs, Florida, is well enough to give a news conference later Monday, officials said.

Vaughn was at the home of her friend Peter Hogge around 1:30 p.m. Sunday. She was floating in the water, waiting for her friends to join her on a tube when she was attacked by the shark, according to Timothy Heiser, deputy fire chief at Fort Launderdale Fire Department.

"It came up from behind her and bit her leg and then kind of smacked its tail and most of its body out of the water, hit her in the face actually, and took off," Hogge told ABC News affiliate WPLG-TV.

“Her friends immediately pulled her back on the boat and bandaged her,” Heiser told ABC News. The deputy chief said Vaughn's friends likely saved her life by putting pressure on her gash.

“They did a really good job,” Heiser said. "She could have lost too much blood and died."

Vaughn's friends raced the boat back to a dock where a person on the 11th floor of a nearby condo building heard them screaming and called 911, according to Heiser. Paramedics arrived shortly after and brought Vaughn to Broward Health Medical Center.

A picture of Vaughn's wound was tweeted by the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue and it showed the muscle of Vaughn’s right leg was shredded, exposing the bone. Vaughn underwent two hours of surgery Sunday evening and is reported to be in good condition, according to the hospital.

“This is really the first shark attack that I’ve ever heard of,” said Brian Hogge, Peter Hogge’s cousin who directed Vaughn to the dock. “I’ve seen sharks before and there are a lot of water skiing activities going on. But this is really the first time (a shark attack happened).”

Peter Hogge has set up a fundraiser on Gofundme.org to raise money for his friend’s recovery.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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