Florida Woman Shark Bite Ordeal: 14 Stitches And A Tale Of Survival

A woman who was boating near St. Pete Pier survived a frightening shark bite, and doctors say it’s a miracle her wounds aren’t more serious.

“It was a definite life or death situation,” Natalie Branda said.

She feels fortunate and glad to be alive at the young age of 26. When things changed, Saturday was intended to be a day of celebration for one of her pals.

“We took the boat out the sailboat out for my friend’s birthday. We were jumping in the water and swimming in the water. We had been doing this for a few hours and my boyfriend and I were the last two in the water,” Branda said.

She was about to get a floaty that dropped into the sea at 8 o’clock when the unexpected occurred.

I was swimming and I felt pressure around my torso. I immediately knew I was bit,” Branda said.

When you hear the tale, you might assume that Branda and her pals were along the pier, but she claims that they were two to three miles offshore and completely submerged when the shark discovered her.

“I screamed, ‘Something bit me,’ and I swam as fast as I possibly could back to the boat,” Branda said.

Branda felt a wave of adrenaline. She was aware that she needed to leave the water and worried the shark may bite her or her boyfriend, who was swimming next to her.

Florida Woman Shark Bite Ordeal: 14 Stitches And A Tale Of Survival

“I got out, looked down and saw puncture wounds on my stomach. Everyone saw the puncture wounds and everyone looked concerned, but it was like, ‘Oh, it’s OK.’ Then I turned around and there was a giant gash,” Branda said.

Shark teeth can be seen on the clothes she was wearing. One bite caused abrasions on her hip, torso, and arm. 13 stitches were required to close her wounds.

“Never in a million years was I thinking, ‘You know what, I think I’m going to get bit by a shark in the ocean.’ It’s never scared me. It still doesn’t scare me though,” Branda said.

Even though her trauma is real, she will still go swimming again. She’s concentrated on getting better and has launched a GoFundMe to assist with future medical expenses.

“I don’t hold a grudge against the shark that, you know, tried to take a bite out of me. We’re invading a habitat that belongs to large creatures. This is their home and you have to be respectful. Unfortunately, that day I ended up being a curious little snack,” Branda said.

Now, they will all remember her friend’s birthday forever.

The world’s center for shark attacks is in Florida. Just a few months ago, we discussed the rising population of sharks in the Gulf of Mexico with a prominent shark expert. You can view the story on the initiatives made to monitor and protect these apex predators here. Additionally, there are safety guidelines for using the water.

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