An 11-year-old boy was bitten on the leg at least twice by a shark while wading in waist-deep water in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The young boy was at Lori Wilson Park when the incident occurred. The boy waded into the shallow of the water at around 10:50 a.m. when a lifeguard noticed the child in distress. The lifeguard immediately ran into the water and pulled the badly bleeding child from the ocean.
USA Today reports that the boy was in waist-deep water when the lifeguards noticed he was thrashing erratically in the water. The lifeguard immediately jumped into action and dragged the boy back to shore. Upon inspecting the child for injuries, a large laceration was found on his leg. It was noted that there was blood in the water and that the child had at least two shark bites on his leg on the lower right calf.
Eisen Witcher, assistant chief of Ocean Rescue, notes that after wrapping the injury the beach was evacuated for an hour as a precaution.
“There was blood in the water. A lifeguard immediately went into the water and pulled the youth back to shore. The boy had large, bloodied laceration on his lower right calf. It’s severe. We wrapped it up as fast as we could.”
The boy was taken to Cape Canaveral Hospital by ambulance. Witnesses at the beach say that the boy may have been bitten by one of the several small bull sharks that had been seen in the area prior to the attack. It was noted that bull sharks are known to swim in the shallow areas off Brevard County’s coastline. This is believed to be the third shark attack in the Brevard County this year, and Witcher says it may simply because there are more people in the waters which has resulted in higher shark activity.
“We’re seeing more people, more tourists and they’re coming to Cocoa Beach. And it’s definitely been a more active year for shark activity.”
Conflicting reports noted that the boy’s age was 9 and 10-years-old; however, most recent reports indicate the boy was older than first reported. Despite the boy’s age, CNN notes that the boy’s bite was one of the most severe that the Ocean Rescue team has seen.
“It was definitely one of the worst ones that we’ve seen in our area that we’ve responded to, mainly because of the size of the bite.”
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Joshua Rodas]