Two Bitten By Sharks Off Melbourne Beach, Florida
A 10-year-old girl was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital after possibly possibly being bitten in the leg by a shark Monday afternoon.
According to Brevard County Fire Rescue, emergency crews responded to a call of six-inch laceration to the child’s calf that was made by an ‘unknown toothy sea creature’ in the 9000 block of State Road A1A off of south Melbourne Beach around 5 p.m. on April 10, 2017.
The other possible shark bite victim was a 21-year-old woman who was bitten in the left hand but declined treatment from fire rescue crews.
There has been an increase in the number of shark sightings the last few days off of Florida’s Space Coast just before Tuesday’s Full Moon. On Monday, the beaches were temporarily closed off of Cocoa Beach, Florida due to shark activity.
Florida saw an increase in unprovoked shark attacks in 2016 and accounted for 60.4% of all shark attacks in the U.S. and 39.5% of the world’s total, according to the University of Florida International Shark Attack File.
University of Florida researchers say that the higher number of shark bites off the east coast of Central Florida is attributable to high aquatic recreational use by both Florida residents and tourists, including large numbers of surfers, and to the rich nature of its marine fauna.
How to avoid shark attacks: In addition to spotting the telltale ‘JAWS’ shark fins, fish jumping out of water or sea birds hovering at the surface of the water could indicate the presence of feeding sharks. Swim near a lifeguard area (their elevated position on a lifeguard tower is better for shark spotting) and pay attention to warning flags.