[b]Witnesses talk about shark bite incident off Jensen Beach
JENSEN BEACH — Ron Waller said he was sitting on the beach watching the surfers, as a man swam slowly offshore.
“The whole morning, dolphins were feeding out here, about 200 (or) 250 feet out in the water and you can see how murky it is for a little way out and then it kind of clears up,” Waller said Monday, recalling the Thursday incident off Jensen Beach east of the Jensen Causeway that left a 50-year-old man with an apparent shark bite to the hand.
Waller, 64, said the swimmer, who was taken to a local hospital, held up a hand, raising his curiosity.
Meanwhile, Dan Lund, a lifeguard/EMT with Martin County Ocean Rescue, said the man, whose name wasn’t immediately available, is a regular at the beach and that he typically swims a good distance off shore.
“He was yelling,” Lund said Monday. “Had his hand up in the air.”
Lund said a surfer — an off duty lifeguard from Palm Beach County — reached the man first. He said the man was about 100 yards off the beach at the time.
“I took the rescue board out and we got him,” Lund said. “We brought him in and then we got him on the beach.”
Lund said Martin County Fire Rescue officials took the man to a hospital. Lund said the man had a “pretty good injury to the hand,” and that he suspects a shark was responsible.
The man was 50, Martin fire rescue has said.
Lund said the beach was closed for the remainder of Thursday, but was open Friday.
On Monday, Jensen Beach appeared relatively crowded, with no shortage of swimmers and surfers in the ocean and sunbathers soaking up the sun.
Lund said they typically see the most sharks from November to around March, with some shark activity in September during a mullet run.
This is the seventh reported shark bite on Treasure Coast beaches since January 2012. Five have occurred in Martin County and one in Indian River County.
Florida recorded 26 shark bites in 2012, almost half of the nation’s 53 last year, the most the country has had in one year since 2000, according to a recent University of Florida study.http://www.tcpalm.com/