The Massachusetts native, who also lives in the Bahamas, was bitten as she was swimming to her boat with a speared hogfish in the Treasure Cay area of Abaco Island in the Bahamas, officials said.
>> Read more trending news
Bahamian firefighters said they were called around 2 p.m. Sunday after a blacktip sharp clamped onto the woman's left hand. The injuries to her hand were extensive, according to the local fire and rescue chief.
"It's just unfortunate," said Chief Colin Albury, of Abaco Fire and Rescue. “(It’s) just one of those things where she was spearfishing and the shark came from nowhere. A lot of people don't realize that when you are spearfishing grouper -- hogfish give off a sound when they are injured, and that sound is like ringing the dinner bell for the sharks."
The woman was flown by air ambulance to a hospital in Fort Lauderdale.
"(She’s a) real tough lady, but in severe pain -- naturally -- (because of) the mutilation of her hand," Albury said.
The woman reportedly told authorities that she “isn't mad at the shark because getting attacked is a common risk with spearfishing."
The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.