Shark Attacks Surfer In New Smyrna Beach

The attack marks the eighth shark bite reported off New Smyrna Beach this year, according to local authorities.

A 24-year-old surfer from Gulf Port was struck by a shark off New Smyrna Beach on Sunday, according to officials, the eighth person to suffer a bite there this year.

The surfer, whose name was not released by authorities, was bitten on his foot, according to The Daytona Beach News Journal. Capt. Aaron Jenkins of the Volusia County Beach Patrol related that the young man was sitting on his surfboard around noon, just beyond the breakwater, when he was bitten by a four-foot-long shark. Though the species was not known, bull and lemon sharks inhabit the area. Jenkins noted, however, that the culprit in this attack was believed to be a blacktip shark, as the Orlando Sentinel pointed out.

“We’ve had quite a few sharks spotted in the last few days, but this is the first bite in a month or so,” Jenkins said.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, a blacktip shark was believed to be behind another attack near New Smyrna Beach in August. Seventeen-year-old Brendan Murphy was surfing near the Ponce Inlet North Jetty when he was struck by a shark, which bit into his right shin. Prior to his encounter, a 13-year-old girl was bitten while bodysurfing in waist deep water with her father in the same area. Although neither the girl nor her father observed the shark responsible, the bite radius indicated that the likely culprit was a spinner shark.

The victim in Sunday’s shark attack paddled to shore under his own power, where he was treated by Beach Patrol EMTs. The surfer then drove himself to a nearby hospital for further treatment. According to Jenkins, both the top and bottom of the surfer’s foot were lacerated by the shark’s bite.

The area in which Sunday’s attack occurred is noted for attracting sharks, due to the abundance of bait fish in the area. At the time of the incident, the water was filled not only with bait, but also with other surfers, who numbered in the hundreds around the Ponce Inlet Jetty when the shark attacked.

[Image via The Huffington Post]