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Gruesome details emerge after teen girl suffers ‘devastating’ shark attack as experts warn swimmers should be on alert

HORRIFYING details have emerged after a teen girl suffered devastating wounds from a shark attack off the US coast.

Addison Bethea, 17, was hunting for scallops off the northwestern coast of Florida when an unidentified shark latched onto her leg Thursday.

A teen girl has been brutally attacked by a shark off the Florida coast while hunting for scallopsCredit: INSTAGRAM/addison_bethea
Addison Bethea, 17, was saved by her brother after a shark latched on to her right legCredit: INSTAGRAM/addison_bethea

Her firefighter brother helped to fend off the predator and provide medical assistance to the severely maimed victim who faces a tough road of recovery.

A Perry native, Bethea traveled to Tallahassee and had been scalloping for about two hours the day of the incident.

"We were scalloping for about two hours and we went to the last spot, obviously for only like 15 minutes," Bethea said.

"We were going towards the boat, and I felt like a tug.

Addison said she attempted to punch the shark but failed because of its position.

"Then it tried to drag me underwater because we were in like six feet of water," Addison told CBS Miami.

Her brother, firefighter and emergency medical technician Rhett Willingham, was about eight feet away from Addison when he witnessed the struggle.

"I stood up to turn around and see what was going on because it sounded like something scared her," Willingham said.

"And she was under the water and then she came back up and there was blood around her and I saw the shark."

Willingham bravely swam toward his sister and saved her from the attacking shark.

The species of shark has not been confirmed, but witnesses are estimating the predator was nearly nine feet long.

He then brought her on the boat and helped reduce bleeding in her leg by applying a tourniquet.

Bethea suffered serious injuries and had to be airlifted to a hospital about 70 miles away, Sky News reported.

Doctors said the victim faced "devastating damage to the soft tissue in her right leg."

While medical officials and Willingham fought to mitigate damage, Bethea now faces an upcoming surgery to amputate her right leg, CBS News reported.

Despite this devastating situation, the siblings' mother Michele Murphy said her survival was miraculous.

"My daughter, by medical standards, should not be alive right now and I know that," Murphy said.

"It's a miracle she survived this and I know if Rhett hadn't been the one that was with her when it happened we may be in a very different scenario right now."

Bethea bravely said that she can't wait to return to the ocean despite the tragic situation and urged people to not be immobilized by her incident.

"Don't be scared of the ocean," Bethea told CBS.

"I had so many people comment on my Instagram saying, 'I'm so scared of the ocean now.'"

"But I'm still going to get in the ocean when I heal and get better.

"I'm still going to do what I love, don't just let fear overtake your life."