A Florida woman was pulled to shore by a lifeguard on Tuesday, as a hammerhead shark chased swimmers from the water and charged the frightened pair.
Crowds fled the waters off Navarre Beach as the shark approached, WEAR-TV reports. Lifeguard Colton Boney rushed into the water to assist a swimmer who had fallen off her raft, when he spied the 6-foot-long shark approaching them. Boney pulled the woman towards the shore, never taking his eyes off the hammerhead.
— WECT News (@wectnews) July 31, 2014
“I never thought I’d be charged by a shark,” he told WEAR-TV. “Usually if you are pulling someone who is in water that they can’t swim in you want to swim them straight back in but you don’t want to turn your back on a predator.” Accounts of the shark’s size vary, according to WSAV-TV. While witness Dan Flynn, who posted video of the incident to Facebook, said the shark was 10 feet in length, WEAR-TV reported that the animal was just under six feet long.
Flynn continued to film the hammerhead shark as it circled the Navarre Beach pier. According to him, a helicopter showed up minutes after the pair made it out of the water, taking photos of the shark. After circling the area for about 15 minutes, the shark disappeared into deeper water.
SHARK SPOTTING: Sharon Feazell tells me this pic was taken at 11am today at Navarre Beach, FL. pic.twitter.com/W7eTtxv774
— Allen Strum (@AllenStrum) July 29, 2014
While a hammerhead shark is an intimidating sight in the water, attacks on humans are rarer than in other shark species. The International Shark Attack File has only 17 attacks by unprovoked hammerhead sharks on file since 1580, none of which proved to be fatal.
Just saw a seven foot long hammerhead at workpic.twitter.com/puUqgMKWVs
— eli (@Elijah_Dillon) July 29, 2014
Earlier this week, shark sightings in France and Spain caused temporary beach closures and warnings, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Florida beachgoers, however, have another line of defense, as the Shark Shield recently went on sale in the sunshine state. Made to be worn by a surfer or diver, the device generates an electrical field that confuses a shark’s sensory organs.
— DeeperBlue.com (@deeperblue) July 15, 2014
The hammerhead off Navarre Beach wasn’t the only shark to approach Florida swimmers on Tuesday. According to AL, beachgoers in Destin, about 22 miles to the east of Navarre Beach, spotted another hammerhead shark, which approached the shore. After investigating the area, the disinterested shark swam away.
[Image via KFVS-TV]