Surfers looking to catch a wave along Florida’s New Smyrna Beach just received a sharp reminder of the risks along that stretch of the coast: Three people were attacked by sharks in less than three hours on Sunday.
A 43-year-old man was the first biting victim; he was injured on his lower leg and ankle. Roughly 20 minutes later, a 36-year-old man was bitten on both hands. The final victim, a 16-year-old boy, was bitten on his thigh, WOFL-TV reported.
The teen was the only one who was not treated at a local hospital. The men’s injuries were deemed not to be life-threatening.
A fellow surfer said he saw one of the victims coming out of the water, holding his hand and screaming.
“He was holding his one hand with his other hand, and it was obviously blood red,” Brandon Jurekovic told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “He was screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Help, help.’”
The attacks occurred near a jetty that had been packed with people fishing, News 6 reported.
Volusia County has seen more than 275 attacks since 1882, according to the International Shark Attack File, which gave the area its fearsome moniker. Florida as a whole leads the nation in confirmed unprovoked shark attacks: Its record of 748 attacks is five times higher than that of runner-up Hawaii, which has seen 143.