12-Year-Old Girl's Shark Bite Is First Non-Fishing Case in Maryland History

In a first for Ocean City, Maryland, a young girl appears to have been bitten by a shark in an unprovoked attack.

Jordan Prushinski, a 12-year-old from Plains, Pennsylvania, told WBRE that she was swimming in knee-deep water Monday when she thought she was bitten by a horseshoe crab.

"I didn't really realize what was going on until I was on the beach and I was bleeding everywhere," Prushinski told the local NBC-affiliate television station.

Her mother, Melissa Prushinski, said lifeguards and nearby beachgoers—including a nurse and EMT—bandaged Prushinski. Her family then took her to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Maryland, where she was treated with 42 stitches for the 20 cuts on her leg.

Melissa Prushinski said the doctor at the emergency room said it was a shark bite.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin wrote to Newsweek that he saw Prushinski and her mother again at the beach after the incident. He said that the girl is "doing great" and plans on going back in the ocean after she recovers from her wounds.

"This is the first shark incident in Ocean City history," Arbin said.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said it's also the first bite not related to fishing.

"DNR's experts did review photos shared by the Ocean City Beach Patrol, and the injuries sustained are consistent with a bite from a sandbar shark," Gregg Bortz, the department's media relations manager, told Newsweek.

"This would be the first confirmed, nearshore ocean bite that wasn't fishing-related," Bortz added. "In 2014, an angler was bitten while releasing a shark from his line at Assateague Island, and around the same time a man clamming near Mills Island in Chincoteague Bay was bitten. There have also been other unconfirmed reports over the years."

The sandbar shark is the most common shark found in the Chesapeake Bay and along the mid-Atlantic coast.

Arbin, the beach patrol captain, said that "nothing is any different on any of our 10 miles of beach as a result of the incident."

"The [Ocean City Beach Patrol] always moves people out of the way of anything in the water (debris, blue fish, rays, dolphin, sea turtle or sharks). But sharks are the least likely," Arbin said.

Last year, there were around 129 alleged shark-human interactions in the world—according to the Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark Attack File.

"Something like this is rare and rare for it to even happen again," Prushinski told CBS-affiliate WJZ.

Ocean City Presumed Shark Bite Victim
In a first for Ocean City, Maryland, a 12-year-old girl appears to have been bitten by a shark in an unprovoked attack. Above, warning signs for shark sightings remain in Long Beach, California, on May 16, 2017. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images