One woman has described the moment she escaped the clutches of a lemon shark by punching the 6ft-long monster as it grabbed her leg.
Heather West, 35, swimming in Dry Tortugas National Park, Floridawhile her friends lingered on the nearby beach.
Share her footage on TikTokShe described the moment when she “felt” there might be something dangerous in the water.
Heather said: “A voice in my head said ‘get out now’.
“Even though it was only seconds before I saw all the men on the beach, my brain still couldn’t figure out what was going on and I think one of them grabbed me to scare me. scared.
“I remember thinking how strong they were, it felt like my ankle was clamped and it was so strong… I just sat there waiting for it to let go.
“As soon as that thought left my mind, I felt my leg jerk and immediately knew it was a shark pulling me.
Within seconds, the monster gripped her leg and began to drag her into the water.
Heather knew her only option was to retaliate as she bravely faced the giant shark
“As it was pulling me through the water, I knew I was alone and I needed to fight back if I wanted to have any chance of survival,” she said.
“I flipped over, with my foot still facing the opposite direction, and started kicking him in the face with my foot.
“I have flippers so I couldn’t get the momentum needed to give him a big smack in the face.
“I was so mad I used him as leverage and plopped into the water, shouting ‘damn **** r’ while punching him in the face with both fists, and that’s when he decided to let go.” “
‘It’s Like I’m IN JAW’S MOVIE’
When she was freed, Heather – who didn’t know if her foot was still intact – screamed for help from her friends.
“The blood was full of water and I couldn’t see where he was going,” she recalls.
“I felt like I was in a Jaws movie at the time.”
Heather’s friends eventually pulled her by her arm to the beach as they began to put pressure on the wound.
“At this point I still thought my leg was gone, I looked down and saw it was still attached and started screaming ‘I can’t believe I won!’, she said.
“After that I was really happy, I just felt so grateful to be alive.
“I wasn’t sad or crying at all, I just kept saying ‘wow, that was a wild ride!'”
The TikToker was airlifted to a nearby island before being flown on a charter plane to a medical center in Florida.
There she said she had to wait three and a half hours for support and felt inclined to start treating herself.
Since then, she has suffered permanent damage from the incident, she received 18 stitches to her foot and ankle.
But despite the ordeal, Heather decided to get back in the water just four weeks later.
In her TikTok series of videos, which have since been viewed by millions of users, she was previously asked if she would continue swimming after the attack.
She replied, “Absolutely right!! I’ll have different ground rules to be comfortable but I’ll definitely be back!!”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4914250/woman-punched-shark-mauled-foot-jaws/ I hit a shark in the face when it chased me