A Florida teenager reports a shark bit him on his hand while he was surfing.
Hunter Hylton was hitting the waves July 29 off the St. Augustine Beach Pier with his father Chris Hylton. As the 14-year-old, who was in 5 feet of water, was putting a bright green surf wax in his pocket he says a shark grabbed his right hand.
“I think he just like latched on and I kinda like pushed it when he bit. I pulled my hand out of the water and it was just gushing blood,” he told Fox30.
Hilton, who has been surfing for 11-years, caught a wave back to shore and contacted lifeguards who bandaged up his hand.
The teen’s father was in water about 10 feet away when the shark struck. He said the water was murky and people were fishing from the pier.
“I was kinda like darn, I guess sharks were out of here. I mean the waves were so good,” Chris said after the incident. “He [Hunter] didn’t want to leave, either.”
The bite won’t keep Hunter out of the water for long.
“I’m definitely going to keep surfing,” he said. “I mean it just happens. I just see it as now (that) I’ve been bitten by a shark, I shouldn’t get bit anymore.”
Three shark bites were reported in Florida earlier this month.
Dustin Theobald was helping his son Emerson catch waves off Fernandina Beach just before 3:30 p.m. July 13. “It was a west wind, so it was kind of hot out, you know all the wind coming off the land instead of the water,” he told Tracking Sharks by phone. “I got back in the water to push him [Emerson] on some waves.”
The 30-year-old was floating on his stomach in around 2 feet of water as he watched Emerson ride a wave around 25- to 30-yards into the beach.
“I was just lying there watching him paddle back out and I felt something grab onto my foot.”
The shark left several lacerations to the top and bottom of the handyman’s foot.
“The bottom of my foot has a clean laceration. The top of the foot, you could tell it was like serrated teeth. They shredded the top, hit a couple of tendons at least the top of them. I don’t think it broke through any of the tendons, from what I could tell, but it definitely did a lot of damage to them. I was definitely fortunate.
His brother has set up a GoFundMe (Graphic Image) to help with his medical bills.
While Theobald was in the ambulance he heard a call about a second shark bite on the same beach.
A 17-year-old was wading when he was bitten on the foot by a shark. Authorities raised double-red flags and closed the beach until further notice.
A third shark attack bite occurred July 14 about three hours south at Playalinda Beach, Canaveral National Seashore.
A 14-year-old female was airlifted to the hospital after being bitten.
There have been a total of 58 shark attack bites (45 with injury, 12 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported in 2018. One fatal**; 19 were reported in the U.S., with 8 occurring in Florida and 2 in Hawaii. Fifteen have been reported in Australia, none fatal. Six unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.
All locations have been marked on the 2018 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map.
*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**One possible scavenge