Shark bites teenager at Neptune Beach

Shark bites teen at Neptune Beach
Courtesy: Lou DeMark Facebook/loudemark

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — A Jacksonville-area beach was closed temporarily after a 13-year-old boy was bitten by a shark on Sunday.

The 13-year-old boy was bitten near the Lemon Street area of Neptune Beach shortly before 4:00 p.m. Sunday WJXT TV reported. As of Monday, he was hospitalized in stable condition.

At the time, the boy was in water that was 2-3 feet deep when the shark bit his lower right leg. He was transported to the hospital with severe lacerations.

“Judging by the bite, it looked to be 7-8 inches wide, so it could have been anywhere from 4-5 feet, maybe even larger,” said Captain Richmond Banks of Neptune Beach Ocean Rescue.

It is the first shark bite to occur at Neptune Beach this year, according to First Coast News. It is the third shark bite this month on the First Coast. Officials closed the beach for about 45 minutes after the attack.

Last Sunday, a woman was hospitalized after a shark encounter in Vero Beach. The woman was at Humiston Park swimming about 100 yards off the beach when she was bitten by a shark.

Earlier this month,  A woman in Boca Raton was taken to a hospital with a nurse shark attached to her arm.

Here are some ways to avoid shark bites as according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission:

  •  Always stay in groups since sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual.
  •  Do not wander too far from shore-this isolates an individual and places him or her far away from assistance.
  •  Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active and have a competitive sensory advantage.
  •  Do not enter the water if bleeding from an open wound or if menstruating-a shark’s ability to smell blood is acute.
  •  Wearing shiny jewelry is discouraged. When light reflects off shiny jewelry, it resembles the sheen of fish scales.
  •  Avoid waters with known discharges or sewage and waters used for any type of fishing-especially if there are signs of baitfishes or feeding activity. Diving seabirds, which frequently feed on baitfishes, are good indicators of such activity.
  •  While there are myths and anecdotes about dolphins saving humans from shark attacks, sighting dolphins does not indicate the absence of sharks-both often eat the same foods.
  •  Use extra caution when waters are murky.
  •  Remember that sharks see contrast particularly well. Uneven tans and bright colored clothing may draw a shark’s attention.
  • Refrain from excess splashing, as this may draw a shark’s attention.
  •  Do not allow pets in the water: their erratic movements can cause sharks to mistake them for baitfish.
  •  Be careful when occupying the area between sandbars or near steep drop-offs-these are favorite hangouts for sharks.
  • Swim only in areas tended by lifeguards.
  •  Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present, and get out of the water if sharks are sighted.
  • Never harass a shark!

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