Multiple Shark Attacks Reported In Florida As 12-Year-Old Suffers ‘Significant’ Injuries

A 12-year-old boy from Georgia was attacked by a shark on Florida’s Fernandina Beach on Sunday, suffering injuries to his leg that authorities have since classified as “significant.”

The shark attack happened around 12:30 p.m. at Beach Access 9, according to First Coast News. The 12-year-old, whose identity has not been revealed, was wading in waist-deep water just off the shore when he encountered the animal. His parents reportedly watched as their son was walking in water just two- to three-feet-deep before the child felt something bite into his leg near the right knee. Yelling for help, he began punching at the shark as it returned to bite him a second time.

The child’s father reportedly witnessed a shark with a black tip on its dorsal fin, roughly four-feet-long, as it thrashed in the water near his son. Beachgoers helped in retrieving the boy and bringing him to shore, where he was treated for open lacerations near his right knee. Authorities described the boy’s shark attack injuries as “significant,” pointing out that he was taken to UF Health in Jacksonville, where he received further treatment.

The attack on the 12-year-old boy wasn’t the only shark incident reported in Florida over the weekend, however. On Sunday morning, Vilano Beach was the scene of another shark attack, when 16-year-old Filippo Schiavo of St. Augustine encountered one of the predators while swimming. According to News4Jax, Schiavo didn’t see the shark before it bit him, but instead noticed the presence of a school of bait fish nearby. While swimming in waist-deep-water, he reportedly felt a strong tug on his right arm, as the shark attacked his wrist. According to the boy’s mother, Schiavo has been released from the hospital, but will require future surgery to repair the damage done to the tendons in his right wrist.

A third shark attack also transpired over the weekend in Florida, further south in New Smyrna Beach. According to Volusia County Beach Safety officials, a 14-year-old boy was floating on a surfboard near the New Smyrna Beach Jetty when he ran afoul of a shark, which attacked his left leg, leaving a bite wound roughly four inches in diameter. The teen was not seriously injured in the shark attack, however.

The incidents mark only the most recent shark interactions of a record-breaking summer along the East Coast of the United States. Though much of the action has been centered in the Carolinas, more than a dozen shark attacks have been reported along the southern coastline, which typically only sees a handful of incidents each year. Florida, however, has long been known as the “shark attack capital of the world,” due primarily to the number of incidents that transpire around New Smyrna Beach.

[Photo by Stormy Dog via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0]