COCOA BEACH, Fla. (CBS4) – Ten minutes into a beach vacation a young Colorado woman found herself fighting off a shark near Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Jill Kruse, 28, was wading in waist deep water when she started yelling to others nearby. Swimmer Holly Peterson described the scene.

“I looked over at her and she said, ‘Somebody help me,’ and I saw the fin slap her in the face, so I reached out for her hand and pulled her onto shore,” Peterson said.

Another beachgoer talked about calling 911 for help.

“I was out there swimming and I saw my fiancé and Holly dragging her in from the water. I saw blood, I got on my phone. It got her back calf pretty good.”

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Paramedics rushed Kruse to a nearby hospital. Her mother says she warned her family about the rip tide at the beach but never thought to mention sharks.

“She’s just hurting. It’s going to take a while to heal but we’re so blessed to have her,” Kruse’s mother Wanda Kruse said.

She said that her daughter punched the shark with her fist and needed stitches for cuts. She said doctors will decide what type of surgery is needed.

Authorities in the Cocoa Beach area say although there have been no shark sightings in the area recently, large groups of bait fish have been seen about a mile from shore.

Suzanne McCarroll is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. Her stories can regularly be seen on CBS4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @SuzanneCBS4.


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