Lifeguard bitten by shark off Jupiter Island, Florida USA
JUPITER ISLAND — A lifeguard for the Jupiter Island Beach Club, who decided to do some surfing before starting work, was bitten by a shark, Capt. Barry Pawluk of the Jupiter Island Public Safety Department, said Monday.
The lifeguard, identified as Steve Burdelski, 22, by Jupiter Medical Center, is reported to be in stable condition. He did not want to be interviewed.
Pawluk said, “He was bitten on the right foot and the injury does not appear to be life threatening. He got himself ashore and used the phone at the club to call for help.
“We responded and Martin County Fire/Rescue took him to the hospital in Jupiter.”
The incident took place about 9:30 a.m. Monday, according to Doug Killane, Martin County Fire/Rescue fire prevention chief.
This is the second shark bite case on the Treasure Coast in the past four days. On Friday, 27-year-old Melissa Hardcastle of Jupiter was bitten by a shark off the Jupiter Reef Club in northern Palm Beach County.
Dan Lund, an emergency medical technician with the Ocean Lifeguard service, said there are a lot of bait fish, including Spanish mackerel and other varieties, offshore and that is attracting the sharks.
“The water is murky because of the storms north of us, and the sharks are hunting by sense,” Lund said. “They usually bite down once on a human and find it is not what they want and then let go. Of course, that does a lot of damage.”
Lund said the sharks are far offshore, but so are the swells that attract the surfers.
Florida Division of Emergency Management officials on Monday urged beachgoers to use caution this week as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the state’s Atlantic coast Monday, becoming a moderate risk on the northeast coast by Tuesday. An offshore wind flow and high astronomical tide will also produce a moderate risk for the western Panhandle. Swimming is not encouraged in these dangerous conditions.
“We want residents and visitors to enjoy our beaches. However, safety should always come first. Rip currents can be life threatening to anyone entering the water,” Acting State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook, and heed the warning flag signs before going into the water. Beachgoers should stay out of the water when red flags are flying.”
Bryan Garner of WPTV Channel 5 contributed to this report.
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