Within a three-hour period, three surfers were bitten in separate shark attacks Sunday in the same area of New Smyrna Beach, a Floridian locale known as the Shark Bite Capital of the World.
Senior Captain Tamra Marris of the Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue told WFTV 9 that the first attack occurred at about 10:45 a.m. A 43-year-old man was bitten on the lower leg near the ankle, suffering severe lacerations.
Fifteen minutes later, Chucky Luciano, 36, of Miami was attacked.
“The shark bit him on his left hand and he pulled it out of his mouth and took a stroke with his right hand and the shark came across and bit him in the other hand,” Kem McNair told WESH.
Luciano later posted photos on Facebook showing medical personnel attending to his wounds.
“Both of my hands were injured and I’ll need hand surgery in a couple hours,” Luciano wrote, adding that it is reconstructive surgery. “I’m still shook up about what happened. This has been a crazy week for me. But I’m very grateful that I survived and will get to recover. Many people are not so lucky.”
The third victim was a 16-year-old boy. At about 1 p.m., he was bitten on the inner thigh, but he only suffered a minor laceration that didn’t require a trip to the hospital. He was treated on the beach and released.
Surfer Doug Watson wasn’t surprised by the shark attacks and presence of sharks.
“So, there’s multiple sharks and tarpon and different sport fish that are feeding on the mullet run,” Watson told WFTV 9. “So, yeah, you run into them. You see them.
“You’re going to see them. It’s part of it. You just respect them.”
The annual migration of mullet lures the sharks to the area and they sometimes mistake hands and feet for fish, WCBI reported.
New Smyrna Beach is located in Volusia County, which has seen the most shark attacks in the U.S. since 2000.
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