Kaley Szarmack was spending a fine day at Jacksonville Beach in Florida with her friends and family when her day-long vacation was suddenly interrupted by an attack from a shark.
According to Kaley, she was wading in the water that's around two to four feet deep when she was suddenly attacked and eventually bitten by a shark which measures around three feet long. Kaley had initially thought that it was a crab but realized later on that it was a shark after seeing it swimming away with its fin flailing in the water.
"She got bit on the right leg," said Dave Szarmack, Kaley's father, who is a firefighter from Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department. "She said she felt it and she turned around and she could see the shark and she could see the fin flailing around. She turned and yelled to her friend 'Get out of the water, it's a shark!'"
As Kaley tried to walk to a safer place, she saw her friend who was still in the water which made her decide to turn around in order to rescue her from the impending danger.
"She realized that the 6-year-old was still in the water, so she turned around and went back and got the 6-year-old and took her out of the water," said Szarmack.
Kaley was immediately brought to Wolfson Children's Hospital where she had to be treated with 90 stitches in a surgery that lasted for one hour. The hospital staff were amazed at how the young girl was coping with the pain and how she was making a healthy recovery. However, doctors are concerned that she may be exposed to infection risks and would like to keep her on a careful watch until they feel assured that she has fully healed from the attack.
"Kaley is doing awesome, she is recovering great. I am just so proud of her and so thankful that she is doing well." adds Szarmack.
Kaley's encounter with the shark was the second shark bite that occurred at Jacksonville Beach in the summer. The first incident happened on June 26 wherein a woman was bitten by a shark while she was swimming in the water.
A day after Kaley was attacked, a young 15-year-old boy was said to be bitten by a shark in South Carolina which adds up to the list of shark attacks that occurred during the summer.
In the U.S., there are around 30 to 40 attacks that occur in a year. However, this year seemed to be a little different as the number of attacks had dramatically increased, making it higher than the average number of attacks seen in the nation.