A 12-year-old boy’s lazy Memorial Day at a Florida beach took a scary, bloody turn when he suffered what local officials say might be a shark bite.
People has the report that the possible shark attack occurred around 3:15 p.m. at Sidney Fischer Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The boy was about chest-deep in the water when he suffered a six-inch laceration to his right leg.
“We were swimming in the ocean, and then you heard the scream,” a female witness told Fox35 Orlando. “Off in the distance, we saw a father carrying his son, and you could physically see there was some type of laceration on his ankle, blood was dripping from it.”
After the boy’s father carried him out of the water, lifeguards attempted to treat the boy on the beach, wrapping his leg to stop the bleeding. Paramedics took over from there, rushing the boy to a local hospital.
According to People, Monday’s incident is just the latest shark attack in Florida waters. A 13-year old boy at Neptune Beach near Jacksonville was bitten Sunday and an 11-year-old girl and a 57-year-old woman were bitten about a week ago, also near Jacksonville.
People notes that 2015 saw at least 98 unprovoked shark attacks, the most on record. More than half occurred in Florida. Brevard County, the location of Monday’s attack, led the state in attacks last year. Brevard and neighboring Volusia county beaches are popular with tourists due to their proximity with Disney World and Universal Studios.
Reuters published an article over the weekend that said that shark attacks may again hit a new high in 2016.
“We should have more bites this year than last,” George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida told Reuters. Burgess noted that shark populations are recovering from historic lows in the 1990s and that more people around the world are going swimming because of rising temperatures.