Shark Bites Woman Twice in Fifth Attack at Florida Beach This Year

A shark bit a woman twice while she was in the waters off the coast of Florida on Thursday morning, according to officials. The incident is the fifth this year to be reported in a county dubbed the shark attack capital of the world.The unnamed 50-year-old woman was bitten at New Smyrna Beach, a surf hub south of the city of Daytona Beach, captain Tamra Malphurs of Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue told Newsweek.The woman from Miami was boogie-boarding before the incident which occurred a little before 11 a.m. She hopped off her board when the shark bit her left leg. After the woman kicked at the shark, the animal bit her again, this time on the ankle. She did not see the shark.
Get your unlimited Newsweek trial>The authorities were unable to locate the shark after the incident.”Both bites were non-life-threatening and she was not transported to the hospital,” Malphurs said. The incident marks the fifth shark bite incident at New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County this year, she said. Earlier this month, a shark bit a 22-year-old woman on the foot. The woman was from Sanford, Florida, around a 40-minute drive from the beach.Get your unlimited Newsweek trial>In late July, an 11-year-old boy from Lake Wales, Florida, around 2 hours away, was also bitten. The child was standing in water that came up to his waist when he was bitten on the foot.According to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File (ISAF), nine shark bites were recorded in Volusia County in 2019. The county is known as the shark attack capital of the world. Since 1882, there have been 312 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in Volusia, with 150 in neighboring Brevard, and 79 in Palm Beach further to the south.The ISAF states the chance of being bitten by a shark is “very small.” But there are steps that can be followed to lower the risk.Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, outlined five tips in a YouTube video, including not going into the water alone, or at dawn or dusk. Don’t venture into the water where there are lots of fish or people fishing, and avoid wearing jewelry, as this may glint like the fish that sharks prey on. Also, don’t splash the surface of the water as sharks may mishear this as a struggling fish.This article has been updated with information from Tamra Malphurs.
A stock image shows an illustration of a shark swimming in water.

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