How This Teenager Escaped A Shark Attack

A spring break trip ended in terror for a 17-year-old girl who was bitten by a shark as she swam in the Gulf of Mexico.
Caitlyn Taylor's first instinct was to punch the shark repeatedly, and that instinct saved her life, according to ABC News. She escaped the attack with a scratch on her left leg and a puncture on her right, local news station WDRB reported.
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Although Taylor needed "120 to 140 stitches," her mother told ABC News, she's doing well. She posted a photo of her legs to Twitter after getting stitches.
"Beyond lucky to be alive and well and thank you to everyone for the support and wishes and I'm going to be okay, love you guys," she wrote.
A little more than luck went into Taylor's escape from the shark. She continually punched the shark in the head after it clamped down on both of her legs, which was the exact right thing to do.
The University of Florida advises divers to "be as aggressively defensive as you are able" in the case of a shark attack. Hitting the shark definitely counts. She was lucky, though, that she was swimming in shallow water when it happened.
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"Caitlyn says she turned around and the head of it was coming toward her with a wave and she said she turned to swim back to shore and she says she felt it just grab her and lift her off of the bottom," her mom told ABC News.
Taylor was in about waist-deep water at the time, which likely helped her be able to hit the shark hard enough to make it let go.
The attack, scary as it was, could have been worse. Taylor is going to be fine, and is already making plans to pitch for her softball team this summer.
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