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Girl, 13, speaks out after fighting off shark at Florida beach

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(MIAMI) — A 13-year-old girl said she has more than a dozen stitches after fighting off a shark at a Florida beach.

Ella Reed was sitting in shallow water with a friend near a jetty in the Fort Pierce area Thursday when the shark approached, the teen told Miami ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.

“The shark itself was so powerful,” Reed told the station. “That was what I felt the most, was it like hitting my stomach really hard.”

Reed said she punched the shark — which she believed to be a bull shark about 5 to 6 feet long — but it came back.

“It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I had to use my arm and put it there and use my hand too, so it got my finger and my arm right here,” she told WPLG, pointing to her injuries.

Reed said she called her family after the attack. Her mother said she was stunned by the sight of her daughter.

“It was insane because she was totally covered in blood pretty much head to toe so you couldn’t really see what went on,” her mother, Devin Reed, told WPLG. “She was shaking but she was calm.”

Reed told the station that the shark bit her in the stomach, arm, finger and the top of her knee and that she received 19 stitches total at the hospital.

“I was kinda in shock about everything that happened, so I wasn’t really in pain because the adrenaline was just through the roof,” she said.

The Florida native told WPLG she’s never been afraid of the ocean — and that hasn’t changed even after the shark attack.

“It was clear water so you never really know when it’s going to happen,” she told WPLG.

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