Coast Guardsman, Surfer Bitten By Sharks
Attacks Mark 3rd, 4th Shark Bites In Volusia This Year
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- A 24-year-old Coast Guard member and a 29-year-old man were bitten by sharks on Friday in separate attacks in the water off Volusia County.
Volusia County Beach Patrol said Andrew Heald, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, was surfing off New Smyrna Beach just south of the jetty when when he was bitten by a shark that was likely attempting to nab bait fish that were in the area.
Beach Patrol said Heald's injuries were non-life-threatening. He had a 3-inch laceration between his knee and hip on the outside of his left thigh and was treated at Bert Fish Medical Center.
Heald was surfing near the Minorca Condos on New Smyrna Beach.
Meanwhile, a South Daytona man surfing north of the north jetty on Ponce Inlet was bitten on his hand while paddling.
A Beach Patrol officer said the man needed stitches to close the wound.
Beach Patrol said the attacks marked the third and fourth shark bites in Volusia County this year.
Surfers have flocked to the waters off Central Florida's coastline as Hurricane Earl has brought waves recently measuring up to 12 feet tall.
Surfers said they have seen a lot of bait fish in the water and lifeguards said sharks can easily confuse a surfer for bait fish while on the hunt.
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