Florida teen to lose part of leg after shark attack

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A Florida teenager will have part of her leg amputated after a shark attack Thursday, hospital officials said.

The shark did extensive damage to Addison Bethea’s right leg, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare said Sunday after a second operation was completed.

Her leg was to be amputated just above the right knee in an operation Tuesday, the health care system said in Sunday’s statement.

“This is the best-case scenario for Addison, and the best option to get her back to the most normal life possible,” her mother said in the statement released by the health care system.

Authorities believe Bethea, 17, was attacked by a 9-foot shark off Keaton Beach as she was scalloping in about 5 feet of water.

Keaton Beach is in an area of Florida known as the Big Bend, about 60 miles southeast of Tallahassee.

Florida has more confirmed unprovoked shark attacks than any other state, according to the International Shark Attack File.

Within Florida, the county with the most attacks is Volusia County on the Atlantic coast, according to the file, which is administered by the Florida Museum of Natural History and the American Elasmobranch Society.

Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that shark attacks are rare and that a person is 30 times more likely to be hit by lightning in Florida than to be bitten by a shark.