An 11-year-old Canadian boy, on vacation with his family, was apparently bitten by a shark Wednesday morning off the beach in Fort Lauderdale.
According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials, the boy suffered a foot injury while in the water behind the Ritz Carlton Hotel located along North Fort Lauderdale Beach, and it is believed to be a shark bite.
“I was here, the guy was screaming outside the ocean,” recalled tourist Marco Spinelli.
Not many people were on the beach at the time, but lucky for Christian Mariani, off duty lifeguards were nearby.
“This morning just before 9 am, our life guards were on the beach doing their morning PT, physical training, when they heard a horrific scream off in the distance, they ran down the beach to find find a 12 year old male who was in the water bleeding from his right foot,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Steve Gollan.
Ocean rescue began treatment while paramedics were on the way. Fire rescue said based on the bite pattern, they believe this was a shark bite.
“I’ve been working here 26 years. I’ve never seen a shark bite,” said Lt. Allen Reed of Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue.
Lt. Reed added that the bite marks are small.
“There were two lacerations on the bottom of the foot and the top of the foot there was a rounded, many holes, bite marks.”
Mariani was transported to Broward Health Medical Center for treatment and is listed in good condition.
Shark bites are more common in the summer when more people are in the water and ocean currents bring bait fish closer to shore.