Two ocean-goers were bitten by sharks an hour apart on the same day in Florida.
Professional surfer Frank O’Rourke, 23, was enjoying the waves 20 to 30 yards on the south side of the Jacksonville Beach Pier July 27. He was lying belly down with his arms resting on the nose of the board around 3:30 p.m. when a shark leapt out of the water and latched onto his right arm.
“I’ve never felt force like that,” O’Rourke told First Coast News.
The shark splashed in the water while holding on to his right elbow, nearly pulling him off his board, before releasing him and swimming away. After paddling to shore, he was treated on scene.
O’Rourke, who has been surfing all his life, said he has seen sharks before, but this is the first time he saw one coming directly at him.
The incident won’t keep him out of the water for long. After his arm heals, he will be hitting the waves again.
About an hour later and 110 miles south, William Angell, 49, was boogie boarding off New Smyrna Beach when a shark grabbed his right thigh.
The Arizona resident had several lacerations and was treated on scene before driving himself to AdventHealth Medical Center New Smyrna Beach for further treatment.
This is the second shark bite in the New Smyrna Beach area this year.
On June 30, an 18-year-old surfer was bitten on the foot by a shark at New Smyrna Beach Inlet. The unidentified man from Merritt Island reported the minor bite around 4:30 p.m. and did not need medical treatment.
A third shark bite was reported in Florida July 12.
Jackie Jozaitis, 16, was bitten on the foot off Amelia Island. The teen suffered minor wounds and advised people to avoid going in the water at dawn and dusk as that is prime shark time.
As of July 29, 2019, there have been a total of 50 shark attack bites (47 with injury, 11 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2019. Five fatal**
All locations have been marked on the 2019 Shark Attack Map.
Twenty-six were reported in the U.S. (including one fatal), with 11 occurring in Florida (3 provoked), 7 in Hawaii (1 provoked,1 fatal) and 2 in California (1 no injury). Ten have been reported in Australia, zero fatal. Four unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.
*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. **not including one possible scavenge