Shark Attacks Surge In Central Florida
Two surfers were bitten by sharks in separate attacks Monday, increasing the total of shark bites reported in Central Florida waters to five since Saturday.
Ralph Sammis, 36, was bitten in the right calf by a shark about 75 yards off the shore of Melbourne Beach. Stephen Flowers, 18, (pictured, right) was surfing at the inlet at New Smyrna Beach when a shark clamped down on his right foot and pulled him under water for a few seconds.
Sammis was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center with injuries that are not life-threatening. Flowers, of Ormond Beach, suffered two severed tendons and was taken to Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach.
Flowers, a Volusia County lifeguard for two years, said his surfing buddies were unaware that he was attacked until it was over. He managed to walk ashore by himself.
"I've been surfing for seven or eight years and when I was a lifeguard I never ever saw a shark bite victim," said.
A surfer from Orlando was bitten on his left foot Sunday while in the water with friends about 15 yards from shore at Playalinda Beach.
A 23-year-old surfer in Volusia County was bitten in the foot on Sunday. An 11-year-old boy suffered a small shark bite on his left foot while body-boarding in the surf off New Smyrna Beach on Saturday.
The boy, whose name was not released, was taken to a local hospital for treatment, said Joe Wooden, spokesman for the Volusia County Beach Patrol.
George Burgess, director of International Shark Attack File, an organization that tracks shark attacks worldwide, said April and October are usually the times sharks congregate in the area, traveling in a loose mass. He said beachgoers can expect the number of bites to decrease in upcoming weeks.
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