A 14-year-old boy says he was bitten by a shark while paddling back in from surfing off Melbourne Beach on this evening.

Kai Rittgers, 14, was surfing at North Spessard Holland Park when he says a 2- to 3-foot shark chomped down on his left foot. / COURTESY OF BRYCE RITTGER

Kai Rittgers, 14, was surfing at North Spessard Holland Park when he says a 2- to 3-foot shark chomped down on his left foot. / COURTESY OF BRYCE RITTGER

 

Kai Rittgers and his dad, Bryce, and brothers had been surfing at North Spessard Holland Park.

“He was out there surfing and he was coming back in, it was dusk,” Bryce Rittgers said. “It was right at 5:30 p.m. … He said he felt something hit him in the foot.”
Kai turned around and saw what he described as “tannish-gray on the top and white on the belly.

“It was like this sharp little pain, then I kind of sat up really quick and saw it was shark,” Kai said. The boy shook his left foot, which left the two-to-three-foot shark “squirming around on the board” for a few seconds.

Slightly scared, Kai paddled back in as fast as he could. Rittgers took his son to see a friend, Dawn Jockovich, who is an emergency room doctor. She gave Kai a few bandages and a prescription for an antibiotic.

Recovering at home tonight, the Hoover Middle School student said he felt good, and that he wouldn’t go surfing that late again.

His father agreed.

“I tell him every time it gets late, it’s feeding time, you need to come in,” Rittgers said.

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