15-year-old girl injured in shark attack while surfing on New Jersey shore, officials say

A 15-year-old girl is recovering from a shark bite she suffered while surfing on the southern New Jersey shore in what could be the first shark attack in the Garden State in recent history.

The attack took place just before 3 p.m. on Sunday in the waters of Stone Harbor, about 15 miles north of Cape May.

The teen, who is from Pennsylvania, was not seriously injured, officials with the City of Stone Harbor announced in a press release.

Maggie Drozdowski told local TV station WPVI she was in the water hanging on to her surfboard about 50 feet from shore when she felt something on her leg.

“I thought it was just a crab pinching my foot, but it felt bigger than that,” Drozdowski told the outlet. “My whole foot was in its mouth. I was shaking my foot as hard as I could. It was hard. It was really heavy.”

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According to information from the city, emergency crews responded to the beach along 109th Street, where they found an injured female surfer who had suffered cuts on her left foot and calf.

Paramedics on scene treated the teen before she was taken to a hospital where she received six stitches, officials said, calling the injuries non-life-threatening.

Officials stress caution, but 'no restrictions on beach activities'

The Stone Harbor Police Department reported the New Jersey State Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the surfer's injuries are consistent with a shark attack.

"At this time, no restrictions on beach activities are planned," the city wrote in its statement issued Sunday. "However, the Borough of Stone Harbor urges all beachgoers to exercise caution and adhere to any safety guidelines issued by local authorities."

The size and species of shark was not known, officials said.

“The local police and fire departments are fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of both residents and tourists," Mayor Judy Davies-Dunhour said in the release. "They are taking appropriate measures to thoroughly assess the situation and provide necessary updates to the public.”

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New Jersey shark attacks rare

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File, more shark attacks were recorded in the U.S. than any other country last year; 41 of 57 confirmed unprovoked attacks around the world were reported in the U.S, where only one fatality was reported (Hawaii).

Prior to Sunday's attack, there have been 15 confirmed shark attacks in New Jersey since 1837. The museum's yearly International Shark Attack File has no record of a confirmed unprovoked shark attack in the state since at least 2015. USA TODAY has reached out to the museum for more information.

Natalie Neysa Alund covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New Jersey shark attack: Girl, 15, injured after bite