Jessica Vaughn had no idea that a tubing trip to kick off her summer would result in a terrifying shark attack. The 22-year-old is currently “doing good" following the attack but claims to have learned her lesson about swimming in murky water.

Felt Like a Punch in the Leg

When tubing with friends on Sunday, Vaughn experienced the shock of a lifetime when she was bitten in her right leg by a suspected bull shark, the NY Daily News reported. “I start swimming out to the tube and I get hit by something, and then I realize that my leg was cut open and it was quite scary,” Vaughn explained while retelling her harrowing experience at a press conference in Fort Lauderdale. At first, Vaughn was unsure of exactly what happened, describing the sensation to be similar to a “punch” in the leg.

The incident was rare, occurring not in the ocean but rather in Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale. From the boat, Vaughn’s friends had a clear enough view of the creatures, describing it as a 4-foot-long bull shark. "It came up from behind her and bit her leg and then kind of smacked its tail and most of its body out of the water, hit her in the face actually, and took off," Peter Hogge, Vaughn’s boyfriend told WSVN.

"She's doing good. She's out of surgery, some muscle and tendon damage, but they repaired everything and some stitches, and she'll be alright,"Hogge told NBC News. Vaughn will be able to walk again, and at the moment doctors are monitoring Vaughn for any signs of infection.

Shark Attacks

Unfortunately, shark attacks in the Sunshine state are not as uncommon as some would like to believe. According to The Huffington Post, in 2013, Florida had six times as many shark attacks as California, putting it number one for shark attacks in U.S. waters. Florida’s 1,350 miles of coastline accounted for 24 out of the 53 shark attacks that occurred in the U.S. last year. Hawaii took second place for most attacks, accounting for 16.

The Shark Attack File, the board who releases U.S. shark attack statistics, continues to assure the public that shark attacks are quite rare and fatalities from shark attacks are even rarer. In 2013, there were only two fatalities caused by shark attacks. During the same year, there were 32 fatalities attributed to dog-bites, with 80 percent of these deaths caused by pit bulls. Despite these numbers, nearly 100 million sharks are killed each year, mostly for their fins. Nearly one out of five shark species is currently classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as "threatened with extinction."

Shark Medical Uses

Shark preservation is necessary due to the important role they play in many of our medicines. Shark cartilage is used to treat people with cancer, HIV, arthritis, psoriasis, wound healing, damage to the retina of the eye due to diabetes, and inflammation of the intestines. Shark-liver oil is also the richest available source of concentrated vitamin A, TIME reported. This vitamin is necessary for nursing mothers to produce milk. It also helps young adults to grow and protects individuals of all ages from developing night blindness.

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