A Florida teen is recovering after a surfing trip — a reward for taking the S.A.T. — was abruptly cut short when a shark attacked him, latching on to his right arm.
Ryan Shapiro, 18, was in waist deep water near the Fort Pierce Inlet when he was struck by the shark, WPTV reports. When the teen, who was surfing with his sister and friends after taking his S.A.T., paddled toward a wave near the jetty, the shark attacked.
“I was just trying to go surf for the afternoon to get my stress and everything down,” Shapiro noted. “I just felt this shark hit me so hard in the arm. It was just so scary and so real.”
The shark bit into Shapiro’s right arm, severing seven of his tendons and tearing his wetsuit.
— WPEC CBS 12 News (@CBS12) November 10, 2014
“I was just screaming and everyone kind of got the idea that I got bit,” he said.
Luckily, the water was shallow enough that Shapiro could run to shore in order to escape the shark. Though he isn’t certain which species of shark attacked him, the teen believes a three to four-foot-long spinner shark was responsible, as WFLX notes.
Shapiro has already undergone one surgery on his right arm, and doctors expect him to make a full recovery within six weeks. Though he will be unable to surf in the near future, Shapiro asserts that his run-in with the shark won’t keep him from getting back in the ocean.
“I just want to go back to the water,” he said. “Even though the shark bit me I had my fight with it and everything, I just want to go surf with my mates.”
— CarolineScubaDvrLife (@CarolineScubaDv) April 24, 2014
Though spinner sharks are common in the waters off Florida, they ordinarily do not pose a danger to humans, as they do not perceive large animals as prey. Growing to a maximum length of 10 feet, the species derives its name from a unique hunting tactic, which sometimes results in the shark throwing itself out of the water and spinning through the air, as the Inquisitr previously noted.
Spinner sharks have previously been blamed for attacks along the Florida coast, though injuries have consistently been minor.
[Image via WPTV]