Video is now available that shows a man bitten by a nurse shark that refused to release its bite.
Ervin McCarty was snorkeling with a group of six people near Marathon City in the Florida Keys September 2, when one member of the group shot a grouper.
Unfortunately, the grouper was lodged in a hole in 10-foot deep water.
Since he is skilled at removing fish from holes, the captain asked McCarty to dive down and retrieve the fish.
Once McCarty made it to the bottom, a nurse shark shot out of its cover and latched on to McCarty’s abdomen. With the small shark still attached to his abdomen, he struggled to make it back to the boat, afraid he might drown.
Once on the deck, the group decided the best way to remove the shark would be to kill it.
Using a fillet knife, one man sliced through the shark’s gills in a first attempt to remove it. A few minutes later, he sliced into the shark’s abdomen eviscerating it.
The shark finally let go and slid down McCarty’s side but it bit him again.
Moments later, the shark succumbed and released its grip. The video shows McCarty’s torso, splotched with the shark’s blood, and the small bite wound to his abdomen.
Nurse sharks are considered to be extremely docile, but have been known to bite when provoked. In this case, McCarty inadvertently may have provoked the shark when he came too close to the shark’s home while seeking the grouper.
A similar situation occurred in Boca Raton in 2016. According to witnesses, some people were handling a nurse shark that eventually latched onto a 23-year-olds arm.
The shark was eventually killed, but in death continued holding onto the girl’s arm. She was taken to the hospital where medical professionals detached the shark.
There have been a total of 82* shark attack bites in 2017, 5 of which were fatal*; 40 were reported in the US, with 27 occurring in Florida** and one in Hawaii. Twelve have been reported in Australia, one of which was fatal. Five unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count.
All locations have been marked on the 2017 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map.
*Two may be scavenge. **One report may have been outside of Florida waters.