Body Surfer, 86, Describes Shark Bite
Man Swimming At Mickler's Landing Suffered Serious Wound
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Bob Brown, an 86-year-old World War II veteran, said he was body surfing at Mickler's Landing on Friday when he was bitten by a shark.
Brown said he did not see the fish, but the bite on his foot was serious. He said it cut through an artery, and there was a lot of blood from the wound.
"If it had been five seconds earlier, I would have caught the wave and been out of there," said Brown, who laughed about the bite Monday with his leg propped up in a cast. "I touched the bottom, and bang -- something hit my foot good and hard."
Brown said he tried to grab the shark, but the water was too murky.
"The water was all red, so I immediately looked and blood was spurting out," he said. "It had severed the artery and blood was spurting like crazy. So I immediately decided it's not good to have all this blood out here. I'd better get to shore."
"I saw a man with a foot in the air, and I thought, 'That's my husband,'" Brown's wife, Jane Brown, said. "I immediately ran over and several people on the beach ran over because they could see the blood."
Bob Brown, 86, talks about being bitten by a shark while body surfing at Mickler's Landing.
Bob Brown was taken to Baptist Medical Center Beaches, then transferred to Baptist Medical Center downtown.
He said doctors found a tooth fragment in the wound before they closed it with 50 stitches. He said he didn't want the tooth after having seen plenty of sharks on trips to all the oceans of the world and taken a global voyage in a sailboat.
Bob Brown said the attack was a traumatic experience, but he smiles when he thinks about all the help he received from strangers.
"I have never, ever believed that people would be so nice. People came running over," he said. "They helped me in, carried me in and then wrapped it up, put towels on it. People are just terrific."