SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A 16-year-old girl from Sarasota is recovering after being bit in the foot by a shark while boogie boarding off the coast of Amelia Island near Jacksonville Friday morning.
Jackie Jozaitis says she could feel the shark's teeth when it bit into the back of her foot. It narrowly missed her Achilles tendon.
"I felt like a jaw snap on my foot," she recalled.
Jackie was in knee-high water when it happened.
"I was freaking out. I took my foot off and I'm like, 'What bit me?' I started running out of the water and when I got to the shore I looked down and it was like, open," Jackie said.
Her friend who was with her was fresh from medical camp and came to the rescue.
"She grabbed a towel, wrapped my foot and elevated it," she said.
The teen tried to stay positive and even snapped a photo of her smiling in the ambulance.
"I figured out if I stay calm they would too, so I was like 'OK, I'm going to be OK,'" Jackie said.
Her mother Robin Jozaitis also tried to stay calm nearly 300 miles away in Sarasota.
"The chances are so unlikely. It was just so surprising," Jozaitis said.
The bite was just a centimeter away from her Achilles tendon.
Doctors say she can't put any weight on her foot for six to eight weeks, which is a major disappointment for the teen, who is a member of the marching band and championship color guard team at Sarasota High School.
"I was kind of frustrated because I really love doing it. It's something I really have a passion for," Jackie said.
Her focus is now on her recovery, while friends and family shower her with shark-related gifts to bring a smile to her face.
"It really shows you like when something happens people are there for you," Jackie said.
The attack happened in the early morning. Experts say its best to avoid the water around dawn and dusk because that is when sharks are feeding.