A 10-year-old boy was bitten on the ankle yesterday morning by a small shark on the beaches of Saint Augustine in Saint Johns County. The sheriff's office has confirmed they found a shark's tooth inside the boy's wound.
The incident happened this morning in shallow water south of Crescent Beach on Florida's First Coast.
Sgt. Chuck Mulligan with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said they boy's father flagged down an officer shortly after 9 a.m. to tell him about the bite, and that the boy said he saw a shark before he was bitten, reported ABC First Coast News.
The boy told police officers that he has seen the shark and described it as about 3-feet long with a black head.
This is the not the first attack of the season for Florida. At least four attacks have reported on this northernmost section of the Florida atlantic coastal waters.
In early August, a Pennsylvania woman was attacked and bitten in the arm by a shark at Mickler's Landing. She told investigating officers that she had seen three to four sharks when she was bitten. The woman told reporters she was staying poolside for the remainder of her vacation.
A University of North Florida student, Clayton Shulz was attacked by a shark at the end of July and needed approximately 400 stitches to close the wound. He told reporters, "I yelled, 'Hey man I just got bit, I just got bit. Can you help me out; I just got bit by a shark,'" said Schulz, an avid surfer and swimmer.
But in those brief few moments, he said,the shark that had latched onto his foot had left its mark. "He kind of just shook his head a little bit, gave a nice shake, one or two shakes...I turned back around and looked at my foot and it was hanging pretty good," said the UNF athlete.
Surfers have told tales of sightings this summer and fisherman have also reported seeing an increase in sharks this season, catching some of them on videotape.
A Great White Shark Off The South African Coast
Increases in shark sitings have been reported from New England to New Jersey, closing beaches in some circumstances, as reported by Digital Journal.
Jacksonville University marine biology professor Dr. Quinton White said there are more shark bites being reported because there are more people in the water. "The sharks are there all the time; people don't always realize that," said White.
"It's been hot, people are going to the beach before school goes back next week. So someone being bitten by a shark does not surprise me at all," said White.
As for preventing a shark bite, White recommends swimming with a group of people and not wearing flashy jewelry. "The best thing is to be aware; things like this are going to happen once in a while."