Georgia Southern University student Colleen Malone
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL -- A Georgia teen who says sharks have always been her worst fear, spoke Wednesday about what it was like to be bitten by one during a visit to Jacksonville Beach.
Colleen Malone, her cousin and friend were body surfing and playing in the waves in water about four feet deep. They had only been out there for about an hour when all of a sudden a few feet in front of her a fin popped up.
"When I saw the chunks missing from my foot, I knew that it wasn't good," Malone said.
With a hot pink cast now on her left foot, the teen sat outside the beach diner trying to digest the kickoff to her vacation. The Georgia Southern University sophomore was on 9th Street South around noon Tuesday when she saw it.
"I see these fins come out of the water, like kind of sideways, and i freaked out," she said.
She said she started swimming on her back.
"All of a sudden I see this shark just come up and bite my foot," she said.
She swam as fast as she could to shore.
"I must, at some point, must've kicked it off my foot or it just let go, but I was so freaked out that I didn't really think about it, and when I got into more shallow water, I started to run, and I felt that one of my toes felt like it was kind of like off," Malone said. "So I lifted up my foot to check that everything was ok and it wasn't ok."
Malone says she is guessing, but she thinks she was bitten by a 3-foot bull shark.
"At first I was hyperventilating and freaking out, but then while I was sitting there waiting for the lifeguards, I looked at my friend and I started laughing, and I was like, 'dude, I just got bit by a shark'!"
She said sharks have always been her worst fear.
"My friends thought I was kidding, so they were like, 'yeah, right,' because like five minutes before, we were like, 'oh, just imagine all the sharks swimming around us,'" Malone said. "And I was like, 'alright, you guys stop.' and then five minutes later a shark attacks me."
Malone got more than 50 stitches and will have a pretty gnarly tale and story to take back to college. But is she going to get back in the water?
"Not this week, but yeah, I'm pretty sure sooner or later in the near future, once all my stitches are gone, I'll get back in," she said.
Malone goes back to the doctor Thursday and is expected to be on crutches for the next few weeks.