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12-year-old details rare shark bite near shore of Maryland beach: 'I found blood everywhere'

Jordan Prushinski is the first non-fisherman in recorded history in Maryland to be bitten by a shark near the shore, officials said.
/ Source: TODAY

A 12-year-old Pennsylvania girl described finding "blood everywhere" after receiving 42 stitches last week from what officials say is the first non-fishing shark bite in Maryland's history.

Jordan Prushinski was in shallow water at the beach on 119th Street in Ocean City on vacation with her family on Aug. 2 when she felt a pain in her lower left leg. Her family took her to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin.

"A wave had crashed. It felt like something ran into my legs, like a horseshoe crab got picked up and ran into my legs, that's what I thought it was, so I ran out and I found blood everywhere once I'm out of the water," she told NBC affiliate WRDE.

It's the first time in Maryland history that someone who wasn't fishing has been bitten by a shark near the shore, officials with the Ocean City Beach Patrol and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources told The Washington Post.

Jordan Prushinski, 12, received 42 stitches after a shark bit her near the shores of a Maryland beach.
Jordan Prushinski, 12, received 42 stitches after a shark bit her near the shores of a Maryland beach.TODAY

Prushinski missed a softball tournament this past weekend as she recovered, but she told her team it was for a good reason.

"That I was bit by a shark and it gives me a good story to tell my friends,” she told WRDE.

The risk of a shark bite remains extremely low, according to scientists.

"They have no interest in people, or anything, our size, as food," Hans Walters, a field scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, told Kerry Sanders on TODAY Monday. "Sharks in our waters are a sign of a healthy ocean, and that's something we should be proud of about our backyard."

This summer has seen an uptick of shark sightings as there are more people looking between shark patrols with helicopters, scientists tagging and tracking certain sharks and beachgoers with drones filming sharks.

From Panama Beach, Florida, all the way up the Eastern Seaboard to Long Island, New York, there have been increased sightings of shark species from hammerheads to great whites.

Surf instructor Atsushi Yamada was recently bitten on the leg while teaching surfing to kids in Tybee Island, Georgia, which has had three reported shark bites in the last two weeks.

A neighborhood in Longboat Key, Florida, has also seen a dramatic influx of sharks in the canals behind their homes as the sharks try to escape a deadly red tide that saps oxygen they need to survive from the saltwater.

Community members told Sanders that the larger sharks are eating the smaller ones to survive, but many of them have died and are now on the bottom of the canals.

"There was just thousands of them," Long Boat Key resident Janelle Branower said on TODAY. "It felt like you could walk across the canal on the backs of the sharks."

Tips from scientists for avoiding sharks include reading the signage at beaches, avoiding swimming near bait fish or people fishing that can attract sharks, and being cautious while swimming at dusk or dawn.