Moments after an unidentified man was attacked by a shark at a beach in Florida over the weekend, a stunning video caught the victim’s frantic struggle to stay alive as a young girl tries to save him.
On Saturday (July 30), a man who has not been named was swimming near 10th Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach when his foot was suddenly bitten by a shark.
That’s when a heroic 16-year-old surfer girl named Nadya Hicks made a quick decision to jump in and rescue the swimmer after she saw him slide under the water.
“He went underwater and started waving his arms and yelling for help,” said Hicks.
She said that she was surfboarding in close proximity to the man when he went under, at which point she made the split-second decision to rescue him.
Hicks told CBS 47 that she paddled out to the man and offered him to grab onto her surfboard rather than think about what she was doing at the time.
“Since there was no one nearby I kind of had to make a decision to go over there and I didn’t really think about it,” she said. “He was struggling in the water and I didn’t want to know what would happen if I didn’t.”
“He kind of just grabbed onto the surfboard and I dragged him in,” Hicks continued.
“Flesh was like kind of coming out of the top so I think he was bitten from the bottom so I think it punctured through the middle of his foot.”
Kevin Mackey, a lifeguard lieutenant with Jax Beach Ocean Rescue, was also on the scene.
“I was directing lifeguards. I told them to apply pressure to the wound. We took his vital signs,” Mackey said.
A News4JAX viewer spotted two sharks swimming in shallow water on Saturday only miles away at Neptune Beach.
Robert Alexander, a witness to the horrifying moment, stated that he heard people screaming at the beach around noon on Saturday when he spotted a man in the ocean waving his hand for help before Hicks came to his rescue.
The young woman’s quick-decision to paddle over to where the man was moments after he was attacked by a shark to give him her surfboard resulted in getting him onto land safely.
Visitors at the beach on Sunday (July 31), such as Mohmmad Aldawoudi, expressed their unease at the news after hearing about it.
“You don’t know where you’re going you’re just swimming and swimming but you don’t see anything,” he told CBS 47.
Indeed, it all happened in the blink of an eye, according to Hicks.
“I just thought it was crazy how fast it was and how after if you showed up at the beach just then you would’ve had no idea what had happened.”
Thanks to her courage, the victim is alive and receiving treatment at a local hospital with what lifeguards described as “severe injuries.”
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