13-year-old girl punches shark, escapes with 19 stitches

A 13-year-old girl was bitten multiples time in a shark attack on a Florida beach last week. She survived by punching the fish in the face–just as naturalists recommend–deterring it from finishing its meal.

Ella Reed, speaking to ABC Local 10 News:

Reed told Local 10 News that she received 19 stitches after being bitten in the stomach, arm, finger and the top of her knee. "I was kinda in shock about everything that happened, so I wasn't really in pain because the adrenaline was through the roof," she said. Reed, a Florida native, said that she's never been afraid of the ocean and even after this encounter, she plans on getting right back into the water. "It was clear water so you never really know when it's going to happen," she said. Reed believes she was bitten by a bull shark about 5 to 6 feet long and is at home recovering.

Here's the University of Florida on how to avoid shark attacks:

1. Always stay with a buddy, since sharks are more likely to approach a solitary individual.
2. Do not wander too far from shore. Being far from shore also isolates you from any emergency assistance.
3. Exercise caution when occupying the area between sandbars or near steep dropoffs, these are favorite hangouts for sharks.
4. Avoid being in the water during low light hours (dawn or dusk) and at night when many sharks are most active and feeding.
5. Sharks have never been shown to be attracted to the smell of human blood, however, it may still be advisable to stay out of the water if bleeding from an open wound.
6. Wearing shiny jewelry is discouraged because the reflected light may resemble the sheen of fish scales.
7. Avoid areas with known effluents or sewage and those being used by sport or commercial anglers, especially if there are signs of bait fishes or feeding activity. Diving seabirds are good indicators of these fishes' presence.
8. Avoid water being used by recreational or commercial anglers.
9. Sightings of porpoises or dolphins do not indicate the absence of sharks, both often eat the same food items.
10. Use extra caution when waters are murky, some shark species will have just as much trouble seeing as you.
11. Avoid uneven tanning, bright-colored and/or high contrasting clothing, sharks see contrast particularly well.
12. Refrain from excess splashing, particularly in a single spot. Sharks can hear the low-frequency sounds from splashing and may investigate to see if there is a fish/prey in distress.
13. Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present. Slowly and calmly evacuate the water if sharks are seen.