A 15-year-old girl was bitten by a shark while surfing Sunday afternoon (May 21), according to officials, per NJ.com. The incident occurred in the ocean off Stone Harbor around 3 pm off the 109th Street Beach, Stone Harbor officials said. The Pennsylvania teen, named Maggie Drozdowski, suffered cuts on her left foot and calf. She was treated by emergency workers on the beach, and then was brought to an area hospital where she received six stitches.
“After careful examination, it has been ascertained by the New Jersey State Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office that the injuries sustained by the surfer are consistent with those typically associated with a shark of unknown size and type,” the borough said in a statement per NJ.com.
Drozdowski spoke to CBS News about the “scary” incident.
“I was in shock and I didn’t even realize what was going on until I was out of the water. But it scared me. I screamed under the water. It was scary,” Drozdowski said.
Drozdowski says that after a big wave she lost her board and that’s when a shark grabbed her foot. The shark’s pull dragged the teen underwater where she said she fought for her life.
“I really shook it off as much as I could. It was hard though it was heavy. But I shook my foot as hard as I could to get it off,” Drozdowski said.
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Drozdowski said she had to paddle all the way back to the shore after the attack.
“It was hard and I didn’t catch one wave on my way out either. It took me three or four minutes to fully get out of the water, and then I had to limp with the board in my hand,” Drozdowski said.
Officials made a note to remind beachgoers of water activities, although the risk of a shark attack is low.
“This incident serves as a reminder of the potential risks associated with water activities in areas where marine life thrives,” Stone Harbor officials said in a statement. “According to the International Shark Attack File Beach Injuries and Fatalities Report, the odds of a shark attack in the United States are 1 in 11.5 million. However low the risk, the borough encourages all visitors to remain vigilant.”