Two men were bitten by sharks in separate incidents in southern Florida in the last week, officials said.
A 35-year-old man fishing off a dock in Summerland Key, an island in the Florida Keys, was reportedly bitten in the foot by a shark, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday. The shark was reportedly out of the water and on the dock when it bit the fisherman on Friday around 8 p.m.
The man was flown to a hospital for treatment. Officials did not specify his condition.
A 20-year-old Miami-Dade County man was reportedly bitten in the leg by a shark on Thursday afternoon in Marathon, which is also in the Florida Keys, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said. He was attacked while spearfishing with two other people.
The man was brought ashore in a private boat, officials said. A helicopter then picked him up and transported him to a hospital in Miami for treatment. Officials also did not specify his condition.
The man, identified by CBS Miami as Kevin Blanco, said he was bitten twice.
“I just see a big gray figure of him just there, and I see it every time I close my eyes,” Blanco said. “It was a bull shark, and it was probably around nine to ten feet, probably around 500 pounds.”
How often do shark attacks happen — and where are they most common? Experts weigh in
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, it’s very rare for someone to be bitten by a shark in Florida waters. The agency said bites are rarely life-threatening. Only around a dozen of the more than 300 species of sharks in the world have been involved in attacks on humans, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Florida has topped global charts in the number of shark bites for decades, the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File shows. Around 39% of shark bites in the U.S. in 2022 happened in Florida.