‘Its teeth went straight through my leg’: Teen surfer survives shark attack in Florida

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) - A 17-year-old surfer from Florida is recovering from a shark attack that left him with dozens of stiches in his leg.

Jordan Hooper, 17, needed nearly two dozen stitches to his right leg after a shark bit down on it while he was surfing last Saturday in Ormond Beach, Florida. The teenager was swimming for his surfboard after being knocked over by a wave when he kicked something.

“It grabbed completely around my leg. The back of it is the worst. All of its teeth went straight through my leg,” Hooper said. “They said it could have been anywhere from a 6 to 7-foot blacktip.”

Hooper never saw the shark, but he knew immediately what bit him. He is the 10th shark bite victim of the year in Volusia County, but like most surfers who have become local statistics, Hooper doesn’t blame the shark.

“I think, if anything, I kind of got in its way more than anything when I kicked it. I think it lost its cool and just snapped on me,” he said.

The 17-year-old is grateful his leg injury wasn’t worse. He spent a few hours in the emergency room and will be out of the water for a while until the stitches are removed.

Hooper says he won’t quickly forget his close encounter.

“I’m sure I’m going to have a little bit of PTSD. I’m going to step on something in the water, and it will freak me out a bit. That’s going to take some time to get over for sure,” he said.

But the teenager still plans to return to surfing, as soon as he’s healed.

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