North Texas woman recalls horrifying shark attack on South Padre Island

July 7, 2024
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North Texas woman recalls horrifying shark attack at Texas beach


North Texas woman recalls horrifying shark attack at Texas beach

02:24

Four people are still recovering after being attacked by a shark on July 4th near a beach on South Padre Island. One of those victims is from North Texas.

Celina resident Tabitha Sullivent described how her family’s July 4th holiday turned into a horror movie.

“I turned around, and all I saw was something gray in the water. So, I just kicked at it, because I thought it was a huge fish, and it was coming at us. That’s when I think it grabbed my leg,” Sullivent told CBS News Texas over video call.

In fact, it was a shark that attacked Sullivent in shallow water, ripping off a chunk of her left calf. 

“I was just screaming ‘help’ and trying to get to the shore. And then, even once I was on the shore. I think I was just in shock. I could feel numbness, I guess is the best way to describe it,” Sullivent said.

Sullivent said her husband Cary jumped in the water and grabbed her, but the shark followed them and attacked him as well, biting him twice.

Social media video shows a group of strangers pulling Sullivent from the water. Texas Parks and Wildlife officials say two people total were bitten and hospitalized and another two suffered minor injuries. Officials think it was all by the same large shark. 

Meanwhile, Sullivent will need multiple reconstructive surgeries, but doctors think she will be able to keep her leg and walk again.

“I have movement in my toes and in my ankle. My bone structure is good. I’m going to probably need physical therapy for sure,” Sullivent said.

The Sullivants’ 16th wedding anniversary was the day after the attack. The couple said they never expected to spend the milestone in a hospital room, but are grateful to still be together. 

“Somebody or something was definitely looking over us for sure,” Sullivent said.

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