VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida. Two men were reportedly bitten by sharks on New Smyrna Beach for two days in a row.
The first attack took place around 3:00 pm on Friday near the south pier of the beach, WESH-TV reported, citing Volusia County security officials. The victim, a man in his 20s who was surfing when he was bitten by a shark, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening but serious foot injuries.
According to Fox 35 Orlando, the second attack took place around 2:00 p.m. Saturday in the same area of the beach. The victim was a 48-year-old man who was sitting in the water at the southern pier. Security officials say the man suffered minor back injuries but refused hospitalization.
These were the second and third shark attacks reported this year in New Smyrna Beach, often ranked as the world’s top shark bite site, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Shark bites, most of which are not life-threatening, are reported to occur when sharks feeding near Ponce Bay mistake surfers or swimmers for fish.
Volusia County beach safety officials, quoted in a News-Journal report, suggest that New Smyrna visitors swim in front of lifeguard towers, both so that lifeguards can more easily rescue swimmers from back currents, which they consider a greater safety hazard than sharks, and so lifeguards can call people out of the water if they see large groups of bait or birds diving into the water. These are usually signs that sharks are nearby.