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Surfboard Bitten As Florida Teen Survives Close Encounter With Massive Bull Shark

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FLAGLER BEACH, Florida -- The Florida teenager is now telling her incredible story of the close encounter with the big shark. The huge fish took a giant bite out of her surfboard, but didn't get her.

The near-miss happened just outside the breaking waves on Flagler Beach and the shark was not one of the typical 3- to 4-foot varieties that you see more often. It was big and Jessica Riley looked it right in the eye.

A picture of Jess and her surfboard, taken two hours after she narrowly missed being bitten herself, looks faked, but it wasn't. Instead, a large, half-circle was bit out of her surfboard by a bull shark estimated to be nine and a half feet.

"As soon as I raised [the board] out, this thing just comes up and chomps on it," Jess told Eyewitness News.

She was surfing alone early Sunday morning when she heard a splash nearby.

"The whole, like, Jaws effect, where you see the eyeballs and then they turn white and the teeth they were, like, crooked," Jess explained. "As soon as it bites in I, like, fall in, fall right onto the shark."

Jess struggled to get back to her board and made it to shore, scared but alive.

"Like, I started to kick, just kneed the shark right under its mouth, kind of. And my finger found its eyeball and, like, it went it. And as soon as I realized it was his eyeball, I shoved it in more," she said.

She doesn't think it's simply luck that she's still alive. She has a cross on her board and wore her cross necklace that day, something she never does.

Lifeguards did keep watch on the beach after the attack, but after two hours of watching didn't see anything. They opened the beach as usual Sunday and are not aware of any other sightings of the huge shark.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

8 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

there goes the theory of mistaken identity, a surfer for a seal, I can't recall any seals in the florida area. Praise the Lord she wasnt hurt
   comment# 1   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Sep 20, 2007 @ 7:01pm

Like, fer shur??? *rolls eyes*
   comment# 2   - Gypsy · Tacoma, WA - USA · Sep 20, 2007 @ 7:47pm

Bull sharks don't hunt seals so your ridiculous statement means nothing. She was in the surf zone, early morning alone; exactly where bull sharks hunt for prey. It ain't a swimming pool; it's a wilderness and the shark has the right to hunt. Thank God she was unharmed but it's something to consider...swim with a buddy and not at dusk or dawn.
   comment# 3   - mark · Charlotte, NC · Sep 25, 2007 @ 6:19am

"mistaken identity" That is what left wing groups and individuals want the public to think, along with resort owners, etc. Sharks eat people if there is not enough of their natural food available. We have reduced the oceans fish population, so to balance the ecology, we should be catching more sharks to balance off the predator-prey ratio.
   comment# 4   - Monte Petersen · Greenwich, CY · Sep 25, 2007 @ 8:08am

Monte Petersen - surely if a nine foot apex predator wanted to 'eat people' then there would be more people actually being eaten by sharks. Can you name any incident where the shark bite victim was consumed? No? How about an incident where the victim was bitten more than once? Can't do that either? I guess you shouldn't comment on topics you blatantly have no knowledge of then....
   comment# 5   - Ross Watt · Scotland · Sep 26, 2007 @ 7:59am

Its not a ridiculous statement, Whack job peta groups and others always want to tell us every shark attack is mistaken identity or there is no such thing as a shark attack and every other kind of bull excuse like its not the sharks fault. Sure sharks have the right to hunt and I have the right to fish and catch and eat sharks also. Sharks bite and kill what ever THEY choose, so call a rose a rose and don't try and tell us its a bluebonnet. Mister Ross Watt there are plenty of documented cases of sharks consuming Human prey, mostly great whites but also tiger and bull sharks. And even more of Bull sharks biting several times not just the initial victim but even people trying to help, just last year a teenage girl in the Florida surf was killed after being attacked at least two more times after a rescuer was trying to get her back to shore on a surf board. You obviously don't know what you are commenting about. I know and have continuely stated that sharks have their place in the eco system but I am tired of all the BS animal rights activist try and feed the world with. Keep on fishing its great family sport
   comment# 6   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska ,Texas · Sep 26, 2007 @ 4:16pm

I have extensive experience studying shark attacks based on my reading of this and one other blog. I also saw the trailer for Jaws 2. My research has been ongoing and is producing some new but in hindsight quite obvious indicators. In every instance on this page, the victim had a surfboard. Isnt it obvious that sharks like to bite surfboards? Why dont the surfers not bring the boards with them, problem solved.
   comment# 7   - George · US · Nov 29, 2008 @ 8:57pm

To Monte... Actually, plenty of people have been consumed by sharks and even more people have been bitten numerous times! It's not like a shark will bite a human being and then think "Oh gross, humans just taste nasty!" and then spit them back out again. It's a shark! Sharks are "opportunistic feeders" that means they will take an opportunity to feed when the opportunity presents itself. They will consume whatever they believe is edible, including people. Heres an example, just one and there are MANY more:
   comment# 8   - Julie B. · Tampa FL · Jun 19, 2012 @ 11:16am
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