Girl´s hand bloodied from shark bite
By MARK S. LUCKIE
DAYTONA BEACH — Sparkling blue waves calmly lapped at the shore late Wednesday afternoon, but after a 13-year-old was bitten by a shark near the Zelda Boulevard beach approach, many people nervously made their way out of the water.
Nichole Carlos of Jupiter was visiting Daytona Beach with Sherri Breen and her daughter when she was bitten by an unknown type of shark about 6 p.m.
Nichole suffered a cut on the back of her hand and had bite marks near her wrist, emergency officials said. She lost some blood when she ran to a nearby hotel where she was staying to get help, Beach Patrol spokesman Scott Petersohn said.
Friends wrapped her hand in a towel and took her back to the beach to find a lifeguard.
Calls to the girl´s hotel room were not returned and a knock at the door was not answered Wednesday night.
Nichole was taken by ambulance to Halifax Medical Center in stable condition, EVAC spokesman Mark O´Keefe said.
Wednesday´s incident was the third confirmed shark bite in the area this summer.
Petersohn encouraged beachgoers to go directly to a lifeguard if they are injured. Most shark bites are not life threatening and should be treated by medical personnel, he said. Nichole was only in about 3 feet of water when she was bitten, the same depth most swimmers wade in, Petersohn said.
The combination of warm water and bait fish brings more sharks to the area, Beach Patrol officials said. When bait fish swim near the shore, that means there are "all kinds of predators in the area," Petersohn said.
Lifeguards kept the beach open near where the attack occurred late Wednesday. Nobody saw the shark when it attacked and the water seemed to be free of the predators, Petersohn said.
"It´s like lightning. You never see it when it strikes," he said.
Including Wednesday´s incident off Daytona Beach, there have been three confirmed and one unconfirmed shark bite incidents in Volusia County this year:
JULY 23: Robert Thompson was bitten on his right foot while surfing in Ormond Beach.
JULY 22: Matthew Pearce of Heathrow was surfing south of the Ponce de Leon Inlet when he felt a bite on his left ankle. However, doctors said Pearce´s cut did not resemble a typical shark bite.
MAY 28: Miami resident Alfonso Garcia suffered a bite to his left foot while swimming in Daytona Beach Shores.
PAST YEARS: According to the International Shark Attack File, Volusia County reported three shark bite incidents in 2004, 13 in 2003, 18 in 2002 and 22 in 2001.
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