Swimmer bitten by a shark in Miami, Florida

A swimmer has been bitten by a shark in Miami, Florida.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Ocean Rescue lifeguards spotted a shark as it swam off Haulover Beach July 9 around 3:30 p.m.  They quickly jumped into action, blowing their whistles and gesturing for beachgoers to exit the water.

Elvin Lanza was on the second sand bar of the clothing optional beach and was attempting to leave the water,when a 4- to 5-foot long shark bit his left leg just above the knee and his right calf. He kicked the shark until it released its grip and swam away.

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Photo: Rob Boyte via MDFR

Once the 44-year-old exited the water, MDFR Ocean Rescue lifeguards began administering first aid.

He was transported to a Aventura hospital for treatment for the injury which appeared to be not life-threatening.

The wounds (WARNING link contains Graphic images of the wounds) appear to have been caused by a bull shark.

“Although these incidents are rare, we still ask beachgoers to always be aware of their surroundings,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said in a statement.  “Always swim near manned lifeguard towers, and be sure to always heed all warnings issued by lifeguards.”

Beachgoers may also be interested in using the Dorsal shark reporting app. The app sends out notifications of reported shark sightings based on location and allows user to reports their own sightings.

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Photo: Rob Boyte via MDFR

While the state of Florida is known as the Shark Attack Capital of the World, Miami has been relatively quite.

The last bite reported in the area occurred on North Miami Beach May 30 around 4 p.m. when Eddie Rodriguez was swimming. He was bitten on his back by what he believed was a juvenile lemon shark.

Related: What you can do if you come face to face with a shark.

The 48-year-old was able to shake the shark and punch it as it clung to his back. He was eventually able to shake the shark loose and swim to shore.

Unlike lemon sharks, which are normally considered docile, bull sharks can be very aggressive and their bites have been known to cause severe damage.

Sam Cumiskey was bitten by an estimated 7-foot (2m) bull shark at the Ponce Inlet in Volusia County August 29, 2016. His right foot had significant damage.

Chucky Luciano-Nahed was bitten off New Smyrna Beach September 18, 2016 and required reconstructive surgery to repair his damaged hand.

There have been a total of 57* shark attack bites in 2017, 5 of which were fatal*; 27 were reported in the US, with 19 occurring in Florida** and one in Hawaii. Nine occurred in Australia, one of which was fatal and one with no injury.  Three 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.

****Updated 07/11/17****



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