Woman claims to be bitten by shark while surfing at Galveston beach

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

GALVESTON, Texas - Just out past the jetties, near 38th Street in Galveston, Laura Dean took her surfboard out before sundown three weeks ago.

"It just felt like something punched me in the leg really hard. And I looked down because I thought I had run up against the jetty or something. But I wasn't anywhere near it," Dean said.

Dean said when she looked down, she noticed her leg was bleeding. She believed it was a shark bite because she was swimming off of the coast and there was nothing visible in the water.

She said she went to an emergency room.  

"First, they asked me if I had been stabbed. Then I told them that it happened in the water and I wasn't sure what happened. They said it was obviously something really sharp and that I was lucky that it missed the tendon," Dean said.

Dean snapped photos of her injury.

In the weeks that followed after that hospital visit, she said she stopped using her crutches. Dean said her leg is still a little stiff.  

"I can move around and everything. It's still difficult to bend it because it's still healing. I'm just looking forward to getting back into the water," she said.

Dean said she teaches surfing and hopes to one day teach in a classroom where she could share, firsthand, her story about what swims in the water.

"I was surfing around 6, which is when the larger marine life becomes more active. I was taking a risk. It's a risk we all take. All of the time. Early morning or early evening. I wasn't surprised at all. I know what's out there," she said.

The Galveston Beach Patrol told KPRC 2 that it has not had any recent reports of shark bites along the beaches it patrols.  

Chief Peter Davis said the patrol usually sees only about one shark bite every three years or so.

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