A family beach vacation in Florida went sideways after this horror unfolded

Jun 18, 2024

A summer vacation to the beach in Florida is supposed to be one of the highlights of the year for many families.

But one trip into the water became a nightmare come true. 

And a family beach vacation in Florida went sideways after this horror unfolded. 

Florida beaches closed after shark attacks 

Summer vacation season is underway and that means tourists are flocking to Florida’s beaches for fun in the sun.

But beaches on sections of Florida’s panhandle were shut down after a series of shark attacks.

A woman and her husband were swimming past a sandbar in South Walton, Florida when she was seriously injured in a shark attack.

Just a few hours later two teenage girls were attacked by a shark in waist-deep water while they were looking for sand dollars with their friends at a beach four miles away from the first attack.

One of the girls, Lulu Gribbin, was seriously injured and taken to the hospital after the attack.

Two doctors, Ryan Forbess and Mohammad Ali, were vacationing at the beach and were able to save her life after she was taken out of the water.

Forbess said he knew something was wrong from people panicking on the beach.

“We all started running out of the water. I grabbed my son; he grabbed his daughter, and then I looked over to the left as we were getting to the beach, and I saw cloudy red water from the shark attack,” Forbess said.

He and Ali knew that they had to do something when they saw the severity of the girl’s wounds.

“When I looked down at her and saw the severity of the injury, I realized that anybody with any kind of medical knowledge needed to help,” Ali said.

Other medical professionals joined them and they worked together as a team despite not knowing each other to save her life.

“We might’ve as well worked with them for years,” Forbess said.

He was glad he was able to make a difference.

“It was amazing.” Forbess said. “Kind of just it was God’s will that everyone was there to help at the same time.”

Teenage shark attack victim was on a mother-daughter trip

15-year-old Lulu Gribbin was with her mother, Ann Blair Gribbin, on a mother-daughter beach vacation to Florida.

“[Surgeons said] that the shark had bitten off Lulu’s left hand and that they had to amputate her right leg halfway up from her knee to her hip,” Gribbin wrote. “She also had lost 2/3 of the blood in her body. Of course, no one wants that for your child but she is alive.”

Gribbin said her daughter’s first words when she was taken off a ventilator was, “I made it.”

The mother credited the people at the beach with saving her daughter’s life.

“Lulu said a man grabbed her other arm and pulled her out and another younger boy helped him carry her to shore,” Gribbin said. “Once on the shore there were two doctors and two other young women one of whom was a nurse who were all surrounding Lulu.”

“These individuals put tourniquets on Lulu’s wounds. Which I believe was crucial to saving Lulu’s life,” Gribbin continued. “At this point we will have multiple surgeries in the days to come and our lives will be forever changed. Lulu is strong, beautiful, brave and so many more things I can’t count.”

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

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