Surfer Gets 8th Shark Bite In Volusia Co.
POSTED: 12:22 pm EDT April 27, 2008
UPDATED: 12:39 pm EDT April 27, 2008
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Volusia County’s eighth shark bite of the year occurred on Saturday morning, sending a man to the hospital.
Lake Mary resident Mark Pattison, 21, was surfing at New Smyrna Beach when he was bitten. Pattison suffered minor puncture wounds.
Pattison said he thinks his foot hit the shark when he jumped off his surf board in waist deep water.
"I think I kicked it or something," Pattison said. "I hit it and he just latched on to me. Two chomps real quick and I kind of kicked my foot away and he just swam off."
New Smyrna Beach is known as the shark bite capital of the world. The beach averages around 20 shark bites a year.
Beach patrol said the fact that there has already been eight bites this year should not frighten people.
"Depends on the time of year," Capt. Dave Williams of the Volusia County Beach Patrol said. "Sometimes we might get a few and sometimes we might not have any for a long period. It’s not really unusual; it just comes in spurts."
Williams said the average New Smyrna Beach visitor doesn’t need to worry about sharks. He said 90 percent of all bites occur near the jetties, which primarily attract fishermen, surfers, and the bait fish that draws the sharks in.
"If you’re up in that area and you see a shark, or you see bait fish, or you see birds diving, it’s a safe bet to come out of the water and just wait a little while," Williams said.
Beach patrol said if sharks or other marine life have been spotted in the area, the life guard towers will fly a purple flag. http://www.wesh.com/news/16019403/detail.html