Surfer Becomes Latest Shark Attack Victim
POSTED: 6:51 am EST November 28, 2005
UPDATED: 7:40 am EST November 28, 2005
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- A 23-year-old surfer is recovering after becoming the third shark bite victim on New Smyrna Beach in as many weeks.
It isn't usually a time of year when we see a lot of attacks on the Volusia County coast, but experts point to some specific factors, from the roughness of the surf to unusually low visibility, that's making it open season on surfers.
"It happened quick," said surfer Blake Perry.
In the waters off New Smyrna Beach, Perry was trying to enjoy what was left of his holiday weekend. But when he looked down Sunday, his hand was covered in blood.
"At first, it didn't hurt. I looked at it and I was kind of in shock," he said.
After a while, he realized he'd become the third shark bite victim off Volusia County in just three weeks.
"Same time, same depth of water, same visibility, which is poor. Surf was about three foot," said Capt. Jack Driskell, Volusia County Beach Patrol.
Experts say the rough surf and the higher amount of bait fish than normal has brought sharks closer to the coast than normal for this time of year. As the signs on the beach attest, even standing in the water can be dangerous.
Perry was lucky. Unlike past victims, he walked himself right into the hospital. His injury was minor and he plans to get right back into the water.
"I figure this is a once in a lifetime thing. Hopefully it won't happen again. I've already got mine out of the way," he said.
The shark bit through tendons in Perry's hand. Doctors said he will need surgery.