A 17-year-old girl who lost a leg after a shark attack in front of her horrified family has said she "doesn't have time to be sad".

Addison Bethea's leg was amputated after she was bitten by a shark in Florida, near the Panhandle, in July, while looking for scallops with her family.

The heroic young woman reportedly fought off the 'aggressive' nine-foot shark that attacked her 'several times'.

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Describing how she attempted to fend off the shark, Addison said she "started socking it in the face, then I poked its eyes, then I tried to latch it off with my fingers, and then it bit my hand."

Her cries for help were heard by brother Rhett, who sprang to action and managed to separate the nine-foot beast and his younger sister.

Addison was airlifted to hospital after the county's first-ever recorded shark attack, where she was treated for her injuries, including the loss of her leg from the knee down.

Now, a few months on from the attack, the inspirational youngster has said she is "keeping a positive mindset".

"I know a lot of people would get down about having an amputation this severe. But I just keep a positive mindset and keep friends and family close," Bethea told FOX 35.

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"Honestly, everything is still the same, other than the leg. I walk a little bit slower, but I still do what I used to do," the teen added.

The young woman said she's making good progress.

"Progress has been really fast. Progressing with it also keeps my spirits up, but my spirits haven’t really been down since it happened," Bethea said. "There’s no time to really be sad about it."

It comes after The Jordan Thomas foundation paid for her new sports prosthetic because the family's insurance wouldn’t cover it.

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