CANTON, Ohio (WCMH) — A 9-year-old Ohio girl has a great story to tell her friends.
She was bitten by a shark.
It happened on a Florida beach that is getting a reputation for shark bites.
Maggie Crum, from Canton, has a terrifying tale to tell her classmates about what she did on her summer vacation.
“I got bit by a shark,” Maggie said.
Maggie and her family were in Florida with her family for the first time.
She was knee-deep in the water when she felt something tug at her leg.
“It felt like a grab at first and then it just like ripped into the skin and that’s when it hurt and felt like a bite,” Maggie said.
Her parents learned New Smyrna Beach is the shark bite capital of the world only after they arrived for vacation.
“We didn’t tell the girls,” mom Aimee Breiding said. “In an effort to keep them going to the water. And we talked about it and we said, ‘There’s no sharks that shallow. There’s nothing to worry about.'”
When Maggie screamed, her mother thought she was faking at first.
“She lifted her leg out of the water and I saw blood running down her leg,” Breiding said. “I was like, ‘Let’s get out of the water!'”
When a firefighter and a paramedic arrived, she knew it was no joke.
“With as big of cuts as was in the back of her leg, we knew right away it was a shark,” Breiding said.
Maggie got 12 stitches.
“You can see by the circle how big their mouth was,” she said.
Already this year, at least 10 people have been bitten by sharks off New Smyrna Beach, including five in the last month alone.
As for Maggie, the fourth-grader has a new necklace, a new scar, and the courage to go back into the water.
“Because what are the odds that you’re going to be bit twice?,” she said.
Lifeguards estimated it was probably a small shark, about a three or four-footer, that bit the girl.