Although 11-year-old Riley Breihan was the victim of a shark attack Sunday, she survived to tell the tale. And speaking of which, her survivor's tale will undoubtedly have just a bit more credibility than the average shark attack. She has an actual shark's tooth to back up her aquatic horror story.
The Inquistr reported Aug. 28 that Breihan was out on her boogie board at WinterHaven Park in Ponce Inlet in Daytona, Fla., when she felt something pull at her leg.
“At first I wasn’t thinking about pain," she told WKMG (Orlando). "I was thinking I got bit by a shark and I have to go to the emergency room. Then I felt the sting and it hurt real bad.”
She said two strangers nearby jumped into the water to help and carried her their jeep and rushed her to the hospital.
Doctors found that the 11-year-old had been bitten twice in the attack -- once on the leg and once on the heel. They also found that the shark had left behind a baby tooth. Imbedded in Breihan's leg, they had to pry it out.
“They had to numb me and they had to prick it out,” she said.
The entire incident has left the young girl shaken and wary of returning to the water. "I don't think I would go back in the water just because I'm going to wait,” Breihan said.
Still, the fortunate sixth grader will have a story of how she survived a shark attack to tell her classmates, not to mention that souvenir tooth.
Riley Breihan is just the latest shark attack victim in a year that has seen quite a few already. In fact, Hawaii has recorded eight thus far (the state saw 10 all last year), with the seventh resulting in the death of a German tourist, the state's first shark attack fatality since 2004.
As for shark attacks in Florida, Breihan's was the twelfth of the year and the second for the month of August, according to the Shark Attack Survivors website. Christian Mercurio, a 17-year-old vacationing from New Jersey, received a bite to his right leg off the island of Sanibel on Aug. 5.