Teen Survives Shallow Water Shark Attack By Repeatedly Punching The Shark

Tiger shark underwater in blue ocean. Shark with sharp teeth, close up

Photo: Nuture / iStock / Getty Images

A 19-year-old woman is recovering after she was attacked by a shark while swimming in the water at a beach near Galveston, Texas. Damiana Humphrey was swimming in waist-deep water last week when a shark bit her hand.

"We didn't go that deep because the waves were crazy that day," Humphrey told the Galveston Daily News. "We were about, maybe, waist-deep and going with the waves. I was talking to my siblings, and then my sister-in-law said she saw something tan in the waves. She didn't quite understand what it was at the time, so she was trying to tell us that we needed to go back in."

A few minutes later, a shark attacked her and started biting her hand.

"As I was turning, a shark grabbed a hold of my hand. I looked down and there was a shark attached to my hand, so I guess I started punching it," she told KRIV. "That part is kind of blurry to me."

Humphrey punched the five-foot shark several times before it let go of her hand and swam away.

"It was just instinct," she said. "It happened, and that was my first reaction when I saw it. It felt like a dream because of how fast it happened. I didn't have time to process it until I made it back to shore."

Once she was back on dry land, she was rushed to the hospital. She underwent surgery to repair four severed tendons in her hand and is expected to make a full recovery.

Two days after surgery, Humphrey and her family returned to the beach and went back into the water.

"We wanted to do the, 'if you fall off a horse, get back on it' kind of thing," Damiana's sister-in-law, Traci Humphrey, said. "Thursday morning after she got out of surgery, we took them back into the water. We wanted them to feel comfortable."

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