Shark bites teen at Melbourne Beach
By Tim Millard, Senior Producer
Last Updated: Saturday, May 04, 2013, 9:04 PM
MELBOURNE BEACH --
Most people would likely not consider a shark bite "pretty cool," but Michael Adler has a positive spin on his run-in with a small shark.
The 16-year-old was surfing with friends near Sebastian, in southern Brevard County, Saturday morning. As he got off his surfboard, Adler felt something sharp on his left foot.
He said he thought it was a piece of coral or some rocks in the water. But, after five seconds, he knew it was a shark.
"I was scared it was going to come back, so I paddled straight in, as fast as I possibly could," Adler said from his bed at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne.
A bystander treated the deep gashes on Adler's foot, and paramedics took him to the hospital. The surgeon who treated Adler said the teen's foot had at least 20 teeth marks.
"We knew it was a shark," said Dr. Mark Munro. "We see a lot of propeller injuries and fish hook injuries, but this is my first shark injury."
The shark's bite was brief, but powerful enough to go all the way to the bone, Munro said.
Surgeons were able to repair the damaged tendons on Adler's foot. His foot, now wrapped in a white cast, will keep him from surfing anytime soon.
Adler, however, is optimistic he will return to what he called "shark-infested waves" he and his friends frequent.
"I know I'm not going to get bit again," he said with a grin. "How many people get bit by a shark twice?"