Florida woman bite by shark on Gulf Coast gets 14 stitches: “I swam faster than I’ve ever swam”

A 26-year-old woman was bitten on the upper thigh while swimming off the Gulf Coast on a boat with friends last weekend. She received 14 stitches and is recovering.

A woman who was swimming near St. Petersburg, FL on Florida’s Gulf Coast last weekend received 14 stitches for a shark bite.

We were swimming, floatin’, and jumping off the boat. Natalie Branda, 26 years old, told FOX13 Tampa Bay that she was just having fun.

Branda was celebrating the birthday of a friend last Saturday when she realized that she had been bitten. She felt pressure on her upper leg after splashing water.

“I felt pressure and then it released and I thought, ‘I was bit.’ She told the station that she swam faster than ever before to get to the boat.



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After being bitten by the shark, Natalie Branda required 14 stitches. (Natalie Branda/FOX 13)

The bite was visible from the bottom of her to her bellybutton in the photos.

Her friend Allie Mucks said that they applied pressure to her wound, and then rushed back down to the dock while calling 911.

Branda explained, “I was only able to see my stomach and everyone else on the boat said, ‘Oh God, it isn’t that bad.’ Then I turned around, and everyone was saying, ‘Oh God’.

She continued, “We’re invading the home of these animals.” This is a terrible thing to happen, but you must respect the animals when you enter their home and are with them.

Mucks said, “It is not common for people to experience this and only walk away with a few stitches.”



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Branda plans to return to the water at some point, but under different circumstances.

She told FOX 13: “I’m not sure if I will do the same thing we did last time.” “The water looked murky. The perfect storm was the perfect cocktail. “I’ll likely get back into the water but I have to recover first.”

According to FOX 13, experts recommend that you avoid open water during dawn and dusk when is most likely to attack.

In Florida’s Manatee County, a man was bitten in the lower leg as well on Sunday. Authorities said he was in an unknown condition when he was admitted to hospital.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that shark attacks in Florida are “extremely rare” but the state leads the nation for shark bites.

Since last month, at least two more shark attacks have taken place in Florida. On July 17, a Lake Worth man, 48 years old, was bitten on the back by a shark. Fox 35 reports that the man refused to go to hospital.



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The day before, an official said that a DeLand resident aged 21 was surfing shortly after 3 pm when he was attacked.


Brianna Herlihy, a Fox News reporter, contributed to the report.

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