A girl found "blood everywhere" on her legs after an apparent shark attack, it has been reported.

"Brave" Jordan Prushinski, 12, needed 42 stitches after she limped out of the water on Monday in Ocean City in the US state of Maryland.

She said she suddenly felt something touch her leg, suspected it was a crab and ran out while swimming with her family in the Atlantic Ocean resort town. .

The girl needed treatment for 20 cuts on her legs after beachgoers rushed to her aid.

A nurse was available to give her first aid, according to Jordan's mother, Melissa Prushinski. Her parents then rushed her to the hospital, WBRE reports.

"I didn't really realise what was going on until I was on the beach and I was bleeding everywhere," Jordan said.

"I was swimming and a wave had just crashed and I was right on the edge of the crash zone, I thought a horseshoe crab had got lifted up and hit against my shins, and I don't like the sea creatures so I rushed out immediately to find blood everywhere, with cuts all over my left leg."

Brooke Rathell, a registered nurse who was on the scene, said Jordan was “really brave”.

"We still don't know what kind of shark it was," said Jordan's mother, Melissa Prushinski.

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"The emergency room doctor confirmed it was a shark bite because no other animal makes this type of bite.”

Marine biologist Jay Bradley from the National Aquarium has said shark attacks in the area are not common.

She said there were less than 60 shark attacks in the entire world last year.

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Thirty were in the States with most of these attacks took place in Florida.

She added these incidents are “relatively unlikely in Maryland”.

Ocean City Beach Patrol released a statement saying that marine life is a possible cause for the attack.

"At this time, the Ocean City Beach Patrol is working with the Department of Natural Resources to determine what caused the injury,” the statement to 11 News read.

“Marine life has not been ruled out."

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