FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A woman was attacked by what is believed to be a shark, says the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department.

The woman told emergency response crews she was on an inner tube in the Intracoastal Waterway with friends.

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The woman is identified as 22-year-old Jessica Vaughn by friends who spoke to CBS4.

Vaughn’s friend, Kyle Branston, says he was on an inner tube next to her around 1:30 p.m.

“All the sudden she said something bit her or cut her, and I first  thought she was joking,” said Branston. “She didn’t want to get into the water to begin with because she said the water was dark and she couldn’t see what was in it.”

Branston said he first thought Vaughn had been cut by glass, but a half-moon wound on her leg was an apparent shark bite. Vaughn also told her friends she saw the shark.

“When the shark bit her down low, I guess the fin came up and hit her in the head,” said Nick Russo, who was also tubing with the group.

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Friends wrapped her leg to stop the bleeding and rushed her to the nearest dock on Bayshore Drive.

Vaughn was transported to Broward General where her friends said Vaughn underwent surgery.

Muscles in her leg were shredded, exposing the bone, they said.

Vaughn’s friends also said she is uninsured, and will be unable to cover her medical expenses with her job as a waitress.

They’ve set up an account for her at  for anyone wishing to help. Click here for more information.


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