Victim: ‘I didn’t know it was a shark’


Thirteen-year-old Alex Masterson returned home to Boca Raton on Monday September 1, 2014 after a vacation in New Smyrna Beach where she was bitten on the leg by a shark while she was swimming. Embargoed to West Palm Beach, FL

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BOCA RATON, Fla. — Thirteen-year-old Alex Masterson returned home to Boca Raton on Monday after a vacation in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., that  she will never forget.

A shark bit Masterson on the leg while she was swimming off New Smyrna Sunday.

“I was swimming and then I got up and I stood up and I felt something run into my leg,” Masterson said.

Alex’s parents think it was a spinner shark and they say they were alarmed at first because they couldn’t tell how deep the bite was.

“I knew I got bit by something, but I didn’t know what I got bit by but my dad knew it was a shark,” Masterson said.

Alex’s dad swam to her and carried her into shore.

“By the time I got to her I lifted the leg and I knew what it was,” the teen’s father Tean Masterson said.

The teen’s mother says she was worried, but knew it wasn’t too serious.

“I knew it was bad, but that it could have been worse. When she came out of the water it was not gushing,” Helen Masterson said.

The teen was taken to the hospital where she received seven stitches and was released.

She plans to go back to school on Tuesday.

The Mastersons are from South Africa and enjoy the ocean. Tean Masterson says he has even been diving with sharks.

“In the ocean these kind of things happen. The chances are slim, but we enjoy the water and we will be back in there,” Masterson said.

Alex Masterson says she wants to be a marine biologist and is not at all scared off by what happened.

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