Jackie Jozaitis and her friends had gathered off Amelia Island on the state’s eastern coast to watch the sun rise on Friday morning.
They were in knee-high waters when she felt the shark clasp around her ankle.
“I felt like a jaw snap on my foot,” Jackie told local outlet FOX13.
“I was freaking out. I took my foot off and I’m like, ‘What bit me?’
The teen manage to make her way out of the water and reach a nearby pool deck of the hotel where she was staying.
“I started running out of the water and when I got to the shore I looked down and it was like, open,” Jackie said.
Fortunately, one of her friends had recently finished a medical camp.
“She grabbed a towel, wrapped my foot, and elevated it,” Jackie said.
Staff at the resort then helped to slow the bleeding until paramedics arrived.
She managed to stay positive, even taking a smiling photo of herself in the ambulance.
“I figured out if I stay calm they would too, so I was like ‘OK, I’m going to be OK,'” she said.
The group had been holidaying at Amelia Island, 300 miles away from Jackie’s worried mum Robin Jozaitis in Sarasota.
“The chances are so unlikely. It was just so surprising,” Jozaitis said.
Doctors were unable to tell what sort of shark had bitten Jackie, but say it came within a centimetre of severing her Achilles tendon.
They also say Jackie, a member of her school’s marching band, can’t put any weight on her foot for the next six weeks.
“I was kind of frustrated because I really love doing it,” she said.
“It’s something I really have a passion for.”
She added that since her return home friends and family have been plying her with shark-themed presents, including a JAWS t-shirt and a bodyboard with the words “Nice to eat you” on it.
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“It really shows you like when something happens people are there for you,” Jackie said.
Experts say dawn and dusk, the times when sharks typically feed, are the most periods in which the danger of shark attacks is at its highest.
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