US

Two People Sustain Shark Bites Within Minutes of Each Other at Florida Beach

By Colin Fredericson

Two people were bitten minutes apart by sharks at the same Florida beach, on August 3.

The first victim, a 23-year-old woman was bitten on the hand and wrist, then a 21-year-old man was bitten on his foot at New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County officials told the Associated Press.

A 40-year-old man in Key Biscayne is also the suspected victim of a shark attack.

A friend of the man, Jose Marino, said that he was fishing on a 23-foot boat overnight with a group. The man decided to return to shore early, WPLG reported.

Authorities have yet to confirm that it was indeed a shark bite. Erika Benitez of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said the person was rescued from the water after the attack.

“This person was transported by a group of boaters to the park where Miami-Dade Fire Rescue then responded and later transported the injured patient as a trauma alert,” Benitez said via Patch.

Of shark attacks in Florida, Volusia County is No. 1, with 303 cases of unprovoked shark attacks since 1882, according to the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File. Volusia County is located around the middle of Florida’s eastern coast. Brevard County is just below Volusia County and is No. 2 in shark attacks for the state, with 147, that’s just less than half of Volusia County’s number.

Florida has totaled the highest number of shark attacks in the country, with 828 total since 1837, according to the International Shark Attack File. Hawaii is in second place with a mere 162 attacks. California had 124, for third place.

The United States led the world in shark attacks for 2018, with 32 total, including one that was fatal. Australia was in second place with 20 total, and one fatal.

Most people attacked by sharks were surfing or engaging in other board sports, according to the International Shark Attack File.

What to Do If You See a Shark

If confronted with a shark on the attack, some pointers include making oneself look big, because sharks respect size and strength, George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File, told CNN.

Playing dead does not work with sharks. They will think they have won and will start feeding as if having defeated their prey, CNN reported.

Hit the shark on the nose, in the eyes, or the gills. Being hit in these sensitive areas might make a shark turn away. Knocking the shark on the nose could surprise the shark into backing off.

After getting the shark away, it’s best to leave the water so that other sharks do not come. They could be attracted to the commotion and blood caused by the battle, CNN reported.

Night swimming can pose challenges when sharks go unnoticed by human swimmers in the dark, CNN reported. Shiny jewelry can also attract sharks as it mimics fish scales, so it’s best to remove jewelry before swimming.

A CNN infographic shows that out of eight common groups of animals, sharks were the least likely to kill human beings. The infographic shows that crocodiles and alligators; venomous spiders; snakes and lizards; insects; dogs; hornets, wasps, and bees; and cows, horses, and other mammals are all more likely to kill humans.