Shark Bites Teen Surfer, Marking Second Attack on the Same Florida Beach in 3 Days
- July 31, 2019
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A Florida teenager was attacked by a shark on Monday while he surfed with friends at New Smyrna Beach, located on the state’s central east coast.
The incident, which occurred around 1:30 p.m., left him with three wounds on his hand.
“Went to paddle, and it just like, just bit me and I looked at it. Like three deep gashes. Like, sick, man,” Reed Zipperer, 18, told CBS affiliate WKMG. “On the way here, we were talking like, all about sharks.”
Zipperer, of Indian Harbor Beach, said he immediately left the water after the bite. After the lifeguard wrapped his injuries, Zipperer was driven to a nearby hospital by his friends. There, he received a total of 19 stitches, according to the outlet.
RELATED: 2 Men Injured an Hour Apart in Separate Shark Attacks on Florida Coast
“There’s a lot of bait in the water. The water is super murky and like, I don’t blame him,” Zipperer told WKMG of the shark. “My hand probably looks yummy to them. I would do the same thing.”
This is the second reported shark attack at New Smyrna Beach in the past three days. On Saturday, 49-year-old William Angell was bitten on the right thigh while boogie boarding, ABC affiliate KNXV reported at the time.
On the same day, 100 miles south, competitive surfer Frank O’Rourke was taking in the waves on his near Jacksonville Beach Pier around 3:30 p.m. when a shark bit into the 23-year-old’s right arm, he told WJXX on Saturday.
The three attacks are just the latest to hit Florida, and come weeks after a 16-year-old girl was bitten on the heel and ankle area of her foot while vacationing in Amelia Island, Florida — also located on the state’s east coast.
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New Smyrna Beach also made headlines in June when a Florida father taking pictures with a drone at the beach captured an aerial photo that showed a shark lurking close to his children and their friends as they played in the water.
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The International Shark Attack File, which records worldwide shark data, has reported that there has been an increase in unprovoked attacks in recent decades. However, the growing risk doesn’t seem to phase Zipperer.
“When there’s good waves, there’s good waves. You just got to risk it man,” he told CBS News. “Hoping there’s a sick scar maybe.”
The outlet notes that New Smyrna Beach has earned the nickname “shark bite capital of the world.”
As of July 30, there have been 27 reported shark attacks in the U.S., with 12 occurring in Florida, seven in Hawaii and two in California, according to Tracking Sharks.