Shark Bites Kentucky Teen on Vacation in Gulf Shores

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Doctors say it was likely an 8- to 10-foot-long bull shark that bit the boy

A Kentucky teen says he’s lucky to still have his foot, and perhaps even his life, after he was bitten by a shark while vacationing in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Blake Berry, 17, said doctors told him the shark bite missed a major artery by a fraction of an inch.

“It turned out to be a fourth of an inch away from hitting a major artery, which probably would’ve led to me bleeding out, possibly losing my foot or even dying,” Berry said. “I’m super grateful.” 

According to, Berry, a high school senior, was swimming with friends in waist-deep water when he felt a clamp on his ankle.

“I was kind of standing there perplexed for about five seconds,” Berry said. “I didn’t think it was that bad until we got out of the water. I looked down at my ankle and see there was no ankle to be saw.”

The teen received up to 60 stitches in his foot and is currently walking with crutches.

Doctors said according to the bite pattern and teeth marks, an 8- to 10-foot-long bull shark was the likely culprit.

Joethan Phillips with Gulf Shores Beach Safety said shark bites are uncommon, but there’s always the chance that someone will get bitten. He said the shark that bit Berry was likely a juvenile that mistook his foot for prey.

“They think they’re looking for food,” Phillips said. “They may have been chasing something, saw that and took a bite. Then decided it wasn’t what it likes to eat and left.”

Berry said he plans to swim in the ocean again as soon as he can.

“If I could swim, I’d go tomorrow,” Berry said. “I’m not really caught up about it. I love the ocean.”

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