David Carr of Deltona was surfing at Bethune Beach, Volusia County Florida when attacked by a shark.*
Record-breaker shark bite title goes to another surfer
By JULIE MURPHY
David Carr likes "to make the wave pay" when he surfs, but he paid the price when a shark attacked him the last time he was out.
Carr, 40, of Deltona was surfing at Bethune Beach shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday. He yanked his foot out of the water as he jumped up onto his board when a shark nailed him.
And with that, Carr and the shark that bit him set a new record for the most bites off Volusia County's shores in one year.
"He jumped -- a fish out of water. There was this inertia, and he stuck to me like Velcro," Carr said. "He was shaking vigorously."
The shark, more than 3 feet long, shook loose but was anxious to re-catch Carr's foot, the surfer said.
"He ran at it again and missed. He ran at it again and missed," Carr said. "He was just being a critter and was trying to catch the fish that got away. Or, like a cat with a thread and a ball."
Uneasy about being 250 yards offshore with a foot that was bleeding badly, Carr said he was lucky the next "bump" turned into a decent wave to carry him in.
"I felt a piece of my (right) foot was flapping," he said. "I was in indecision about getting up on the board, but I did."
Carr called out to a fellow surfer that he had been bitten. The other surfer, who lived nearby, and his wife brought bandages to patch up Carr's foot enough for him to drive to Bert Fish Medical Center. It took nine stitches to close up the bite.
Carr said Friday that it hardly hurts anymore.
Misidentification on the part of the sharks, like this, causes them to bite, said Capt. Scott Petersohn, Volusia County Beach Patrol.
"The only thing odd about this was where it happened," Petersohn said. Most of the bites happen near the New Smyrna Beach jetty, nearly 10 miles north of Bethune Beach.
This latest reported shark bite was actually the 23rd bite of the season and not the 24th, Petersohn said.
David Logan, a 44-year-old surfer from Jupiter, was initially thought to have been on the receiving end of the bite that broke the 2001 record of 22 bites in a single year. Since Logan was bitten shortly after noon Sunday, a good hour after Carr was bitten, he's the latest victim.
"We've already used up all the champagne and balloons," Petersohn joked.
Beach Patrol officials held off on releasing information about Carr's shark bite to confirm the details.
Carr will surf again. He said he regularly sees sharks and "action," and it goes with the territory when surfing.
"This was my once-in-a-life chance," he said. "I've been going in the ocean since I was 14. It's life. Don't be scared of it."
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