One shark bite was reported last week in New South Wales, Australia, and a second bite was reported April 28 in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Max Carey, 18, was participating in a spearfishing contest off Tomaree with his father Aaron when they noticed several grey nurse sharks in the area. To avoid enticing sharks, the two were placing their speared fish on their boat.
After taking a short break, father and son returned to the water around 2 p.m. Max was 32 yards [30m] from the boat when a nearly 10-foot long [3m} grey nurse shark grabbed his left arm.
“I didn’t see it . . . it came from behind and underneath me,” he told the Newcastle Herald.
“It was only on me for a second and let go. Thankfully, I was wearing a wetsuit and it didn’t shake around.”
Max’s father, who was also in the water, swam to his aid and helped him back onto the boat. When they were back on shore, he drove him to the Tomaree Medical Centre.
Thanks in part to his thick camouflage wetsuit, Max only had several puncture wounds on his left wrist which did not require stitches. Doctors prescribed antibiotics because there is a high risk of infection with shark bites.
“Every sport has its risks,” Aaron Carey said. “The only other time I have had trouble with a shark was when a bull shark chased me to the shore.
“We knew they were around. Grey nurses are normally pretty tame; I guess that shark was a bit rowdy.”
Grey nurse sharks, which are more commonly known as sand tiger sharks in the U.S. are considered to be docile but have been known to bite when unprovoked. In July 2018, Matthew Donaldson, 13, was bitten by a sand tiger shark while playing in the water off Fire Island, N.Y. He had several puncture wounds, and tooth fragment was left in his leg.
On April 28, Matthew Cornell, 19, was bitten by a shark at New Smyrna Beach.
The Sanford teen was wading in waist-deep water near the Flagler Avenue beach approach when he stepped on an estimated 4-foot shark which bit his left calf around 7:45 p.m. He was treated on scene by beach personnel and later drove himself to the hospital.
As of April 29, 2019, there have been a total of 24 shark attack bites (22 with injury, 6 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2019.
One fatal**; twelve were reported in the U.S (including zero fatal), with 6 occurring in Florida and 5 in Hawaii. Six have been reported in Australia, zero fatal. Four unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.
All locations have been marked on the 2019 Shark Attack Map.
*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**Three possible scavenge
Western Australia: 1 (0 no injury), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed: 0.
Northern Territory: 1 (1 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Queensland: 1 (0 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 2.
New South Wales: 3 (1 no injury), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
South Australia: 0, Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Victoria: 0 (0 no injury), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.