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Brave Teen Fights Off Shark Attack In Galveston

James King, MPA
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A 19-year-old from Oklahoma, Damiana Humphrey, demonstrated incredible bravery when she fought off a shark while swimming in Galveston, Texas. The incident occurred on May 28 during a family vacation, as reported by FOX26.

Humphrey was in waist-deep water with her siblings when she suddenly felt a sharp pain in her hand. “I looked down and there was a shark attached to my hand, so I guess I started punching it,” she recalled. Despite the shock, Humphrey managed to fend off the shark, which eventually released its grip and swam away.

The shark, estimated to be about four to five feet long, left Humphrey with severe injuries. She was quickly transported to a local hospital where doctors performed surgery on her hand. The attack severed four tendons, rendering her unable to use her hand for several weeks. This recovery period means she won’t be able to work as a patient care technician this summer.


“They said I should make a full recovery with my physical therapy,” Humphrey stated. “Honestly, I’m just glad it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.”

Galveston Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis commented on the rarity of shark attacks in the area, noting that such incidents are often cases of mistaken identity. “I’ve worked a few of them in my career and the ones I’ve seen were shark bites, not attacks,” he explained. “It sounds like this may have been similar to that.”

Dr. Kesley Banks, a Texas A&M research scientist, confirmed that various shark species, including black tips, spinner sharks, and bull sharks, are common in the Galveston area. During the summer, the presence of hammerheads and tiger sharks increases due to the higher number of people in the water.

Humphrey’s quick thinking and bravery undoubtedly prevented a more severe outcome. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of awareness and caution while enjoying the ocean.