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04/21/2003 Tommy Ryan (Florida)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2003
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04/21/2003 Tommy Ryan (Florida)

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Shark Bites Surfer From Orlando

PLAYALINDA BEACH, Fla. -- A 30-year-old surfer from Orlando was bitten by a shark Sunday afternoon, the fifth reported shark bite in Brevard County this month, officials said.

Tommy Ryan was bitten on his left foot while in the water with friends about 15 yards from shore, witnesses told WKMG partner Florida Today. He was taken to Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, where he was in stable condition Sunday night with a 5-inch-deep wound.

"It doesn't appear to be very serious," said Orlando Dominguez, spokesman for the Brevard County Fire-Rescue.

Two others suffered minor shark bites in the past week in Brevard County. One involved a 12-year-old boy surfing, and the other a 20-year-old man swimming.

None of the five Brevard bites have been life-threatening, Dominguez said.

The latest one comes a day after an 11-year-old boy suffered a small shark bite on his left foot while body-boarding in the surf off New Smyrna Beach in nearby Volusia County.

The boy, whose name was not released, was not seriously injured when he was bitten Saturday afternoon, and his parents took him to a local hospital for treatment, said Joe Wooden, spokesman for the Volusia County Beach Patrol.

The bite is the second reported in Volusia County this year, Wooden said.

George Burgess, director of International Shark Attack File, an organization that tracks shark attacks worldwide, said April and October are usually the times sharks congregate in the area, traveling in a loose mass. He said beachgoers can expect the number of bites to decrease in upcoming weeks.

"As the temperatures warm up, the sharks are starting to move north," he said. "The sharks are very much the equivalent of Yankee tourists. They head south toward winter, then head back on north in the summer."

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