MARIETTA, Ga. - A Marietta woman said she feels lucky to have survived her beach vacation. Melanie Lawson was bitten by a shark while in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Lawson said she had warned her children not to go very deep into the water. On the last day of vacation, she had wandered out into about 4 feet of water.
“I felt something cruise against my leg and it turned around and I felt pain. He probably could have taken me down, but there's no way because I would have fought for my life,” said Lawson.
Lawson said she ran for shore and remembers people trying to help her. Her daughter, Lauren, was not far away.
“She grew up on the water in California, I thought she'd be fine swimming. I didn't know where she was, then I saw her on the shore and she was covered in blood,” said Lauren.
Melanie had bruises and puncture marks from the sharp, powerful teeth of the shark in her thigh. She was rushed to the hospital. She said part of the shark's tooth was embedded in her leg.
Melanie said officials in Florida told her the shark was estimated to be 5 feet long. As she recovers at home, she said she wanted to share her ordeal as a warning to others as they head to the beach for spring and summer vacations.
“People need to know. There need to be more warnings and signs telling people not to go past a certain point in the water. If that would have been a child in the water, the child may not have survived,” said Lawson.
Melanie said while she was still in a lot of pain, she feels fortunate it was not worse.
“I'm very lucky, I love the water and I’ll go back in, I just don't know when,” said Lawson.