Two surfers and one swimmer have been bitten by sharks in Florida.
The first incident occurred September 8 off Fort Pierce Inlet when a man in his mid-60s was bitten on the leg. The unidentified man received a serious wound between his knee and ankle.
He was transported by emergency personnel to a local hospital and was originally listed in serious condition.
The species of shark that bit him has not been identified; however, local sources indicate bull sharks have been spotted in the area.
A second minor shark bite occurred the following day off New Smyrna Beach.
A Port Orange man was enjoying the waves near the Ponce Inlet Jetty at 1:20 p.m. when something grabbed his ankle. The 39-year-old was able to shake off the shark and exit the water.
He reported the minor bite to ocean rescue and was treated on scene before driving himself to the hospital.
A third bite and the first for the area this year, occurred of Jacksonville Beach.
On September 20 a female ocean user was in waist-deep water around 12th avenue south.
She was enjoying the murky water around noon when she was bitten on the hand.
The woman needed treatment for the minor cuts and was transported to the hospital by a friend.
This is the tenth publicly reported shark bite on Florida’s East coast this year.
The most recent interaction occurred near the St. Augustine Beach Pier.
Hunter Hylton was hitting the waves July 29 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.
He was able to paddle back in and contact lifeguards who help bandage the minor wound.
A more serious event occurred July 13 when two ocean-goers were bitten by sharks.
Dustin Theobald was helping his son Emerson catch waves off Fernandina Beach just before 3:30 p.m.
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 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.
There have been a total of 78 shark attack bites (56 with injury, 17 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2018. Four fatal**; 29 were reported in the U.S (including one fatal), with 11 occurring in Florida and 3 in Hawaii. Seventeen have been reported in Australia, none fatal. Eight 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