Two surfers were struck by sharks on Sunday in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, bringing the number of bites this year to ten in the shark attack capital of the world.
The attacks happened just 30 minutes apart, according to ABC News. The first incident took place around 11 a.m., when a 15-year-old surfer was bitten by a shark just 100 yards from shore. Although he didn’t clearly see the shark, the bite marks indicate that it was between three and five feet in length.
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The second attack occurred just after 11:30 a.m., about one mile to the south of the first incident. Kevin Ross, 29, was paddling on his surfboard through bait fish when a shark bit into his left foot, lacerating it deeply. According to WOFL, Ross was able to identify the animal as a small blacktip shark, which grows to be around four feet in length, and is common in the area.
“I never, ever, thought I’d be attacked by a shark,” he said. “When it grabbed me, I was like ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die! This shark is about to eat me in the water!’ I was just trying to paddle and get back to shore as fast as I could, and I kept looking back to see if it was going to come back and get me.”
Both victims were transported to Bert Fish Medical Center, where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries, WESH reports. Ross was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon.
— Anthony DiLorenzo (@ADiLorenzoWFTV) October 5, 2014
Authorities believe it unlikely that the same shark was responsible for both attacks. They contend that the sharks may both have been of the same species, however, and that murky water could have contributed to the attacks. Volusia County Beach Safety Capt. Aaron Jenkins related that a increase in bait fish in an area popular with surfers also likely contributed to the attacks, making it easier for the sharks to mistake the surfers for food.
New Smyrna Beach is often referred to as a the shark attack capital of the world, due to the frequency with which they occur. As The Inquisitr has previously reported, during this year, at least eight other shark attacks have occurred in this part of Florida.
[Image via 72 And Rising]