Shark Attack Reports Increase Across the Waters Near Florida

Posted: May 24, 2023 9:30 am

It has been an active month for shark activity in Florida. The second shark attack in as many days happened in the waters off of the peninsula at the end of last week. While nobody has lost their lives in these attacks, the news has put beachgoers on high alert. Here is the latest on this news.

Angler Bit on Foot by Shark in Monroe County

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, an angler was bit on the foot on Friday while fishing at Summerland Key. The 35-year-old man was on a dock at about 8 pm when he inadvertently hooked and reeled up the shark onto the dock. The marine animal then bit the man once it was out of the water.

The fisherman was transported by air to Jackson South Medical Center in Miami for medical treatment. His condition has not been released to the public.

It was just one day earlier that a man from Miami-Dade County was spearfishing when he was bitten by a shark. Like the Friday victim, this 20-year-old man was also airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center. Local media identified the victim as Kevin Blanco.

Blanco said that the bull shark bit him twice on the leg. He said that the shark measured about 9 to 10 feet and weighed approximately 500 pounds. Blanco said the massive shark came out of nowhere, swimming along at up to 30 mph.

Shark Attack on Young Girl

Earlier in the month, 13-year-old Ella Reed was attacked by a shark off the coast of Fort Pierce, Florida. Reed was sitting in a jetty with shallow water with a friend on May 11 when a reported bull shark bit her across the stomach, arm, knee, and finger. The injury required 19 stitches.

Reed said she punched the shark, trying to to fight back from its power. The arm bite happened when she tried to push the shark grip off of her stomach. She estimated that the shark was about 5 to 6 feet long.

After fighting off the initial bite, Reed said that the shark came back to try to attack again. She alerted her friend who ran to safety and called for help.

Reed’s mother was coming out of their house near the beach when she saw her injured daughter covered in blood limping toward her. She was taken to a fire department for evaluation before being sent to the hospital.

Reducing Odds of Shark Attacks

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, shark bites in the Sunshine State are typically not life-threatening. You can reduce the risk of an encounter with a shark by staying in groups while out in the water. Sharks are more attracted to solitary individuals and tend to shy away from large groups of people.

It is also advised to avoid getting into the water during the twilight or overnight hours. This is when the animals are most active as they come out to feed.

You should also stay out of the water if you are bleeding from an open wound. Even a woman menstruating can attract a shark with the smell of blood. Taking the time to remove shiny jewelry that reflects light is also a good practice as the light could be mistaken as fish scales by a shark.

Lastly, do not enter waters when sharks have been sighted in the area. Swimming in an area with a lifeguard on duty will provide an extra layer of protection.

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