Shark Attacks Free Diver Off Florida's Jupiter Inlet

A free diver has been attacked by a shark off Florida's Jupiter Inlet before being airlifted to medical facilities upon reaching shore.

According to WPBF, rescue crews were dispatched around 1 p.m., following reports that a man who had been attacked by a shark was being brought to shore. The attack took place several miles from the coast and the victim, who has yet to be named, was transported to Jupiter Inlet Park by boat. After being evaluated, the man, who appeared to be in his 60s or 70s according to WPTV, was airlifted to St. Mary's Medical Center. He was communicating with first responders, according to eyewitnesses, and appeared to still be wearing his wetsuit.

The man was free diving offshore when the shark attacked, CBS 12 reports, and while authorities have yet to identify the species responsible, the victim has stated that he believed it to be a bull shark. The diver displayed wounds to both his torso and shoulder area, the extent of which were not immediately known.

Several large groupings of sharks have been spotted in Florida over recent weeks, as warming waters signal the beginning of the animals' yearly migration. As the Inquisitr previously reported, workers at an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana managed to film a staggering number of sharks gathered near the surface of the ocean last month, as they circled the platform. That grouping was thought to consist mostly of spinner and blacktip sharks, much like another filmed off the Florida coast just a week earlier.

Bull sharks are no strangers to Florida beaches, however, and several of the predators made an appearance in Jacksonville last month, sending spring break beachgoers fleeing from the water. One of the sharks had been caught by a local fisherman operating off Jacksonville Beach Pier, and the two sharks were photographed swimming in knee high water just after he set the animal free. More recently, a large shark of an unidentified species was filmed within feet of shore at Bonita Beach, which is also in Florida.Hardly the only species to be found in Florida waters, bull sharks are considered one of the three sharks most likely to attack humans.

[Image: Scripps Media via WPTV]