Doctors on vacation help save 15-year-old shark attack victim in Florida

 A group of medical professionals vacationing in Florida rushed to help a teen girl who was attacked by a shark. [[{“value”:”

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A group of medical professionals vacationing in Florida rushed to help a teen girl who was attacked by a shark on Friday.

The incident happened at Rosemary Beach in Walton County. Two 15-year-old girls were in waist-deep water with some friends when they were attacked, the South Walton Fire District said.

One of the girls suffered serious injuries to her upper leg and hand, while the other girl had only minor foot injuries, according to officials.

Ryan Forbess and Mohammad Ali are both doctors and friends who vacation in the area every summer with their families. They were boogie boarding with their kids when they heard people panicking on the shore, the pair told Nexstar’s WKRG.

“We all started running out of the water,” Forbess said. “I grabbed my son. He grabbed his daughter, and then I looked over to the left as we were getting to the beach, and I saw cloudy red water from the shark attack.”


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When they got back to the shore, their medical training kicked in immediately. Some EMTs and trauma nurses, who were also on vacation, ran over to help as well.

The group tied tourniquets on the teen’s leg and hand and applied pressure to her wounds.

“When I looked down at her and saw the severity of the injury, I realized that anybody with any kind of medical knowledge needed to help,” Ali said.

Forbess and Ali said they didn’t know the other medical professionals who helped the girl, but at the time, it didn’t matter because they all had one goal in mind: saving her life.

“We might’ve as well worked with them for years,” Forbess said. “It was amazing. Kind of … it was God’s will that everyone was there to help at the same time.”

Forbes and Ali talked to the family after the girl was admitted to the hospital. They are told she is expected to survive.


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Less than two hours before this attack, officials said a 45-year-old woman was bitten by a shark near WaterSound Beach, located about 2 miles away from Rosemary Beach. She had critical injuries on her midsection and arm, and part of her arm had to be amputated, South Walton Fire Chief Ryan Crawford said at a news briefing. She was flown to a trauma center.

On Saturday, Walton County sheriff’s deputies patrolling the waters in a boat spotted a 14-foot hammerhead shark near Santa Rosa Beach, which they said is not unusual. Sheriff’s officials say they don’t know what type of shark attacked the swimmers on Friday.

“We want to reiterate that sharks are always present in the Gulf,” the sheriff’s office said in a Saturday post on social media. “Swimmers and beachgoers should be cautious when swimming and stay aware of their surroundings.”

Shark attacks are rare, according to experts. There were 69 unprovoked bites last year worldwide, and 10 of those were fatal, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File. That was higher than the recent average of six deaths per year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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