Over the Labor Day weekend, two swimmers were attacked by sharks on a Florida beach, sustaining injuries in separate events. A 37-year-old Apopka, Florida resident was bitten on her right foot while in waist-deep water in Ponce Inlet.
According to a press statement from Volusia County Beach Safety, the victim did not see the shark that attacked her.
A guy in his 30s surfing near the Ponce Inlet Jetty was the second surfer to fall victim to a shark attack. After declining emergency medical assistance, he drove himself to the nearest hospital. There have been no updates on his condition.
The attacks in Florida are part of a larger pattern of bites in the United States this summer, which has placed beachgoers on edge all along the Atlantic coast. On Monday, Volusia County beaches were marked with red flags, indicating hazardous conditions like heavy surf and strong currents.
Volusia County Beach Safety’s logistics captain, A.J. Miller, claimed that bites in the region were “usually accidental in nature.” According to the International Shark Attack File, there have been 343 shark attacks in Volusia County, Florida, between 1882 and the present. Biting events in Volusia County mainly involved blacktip and bull sharks, although neither species is very dangerous to people.
Since the 1600s, the United States has seen more shark attacks than any other country, with over 1,600 unprovoked attacks documented. Over the last seven decades, there has been an increase in the annual frequency of shark attacks, with 41 of 57 verified occurrences occurring in the United States in 2022.
In 2016, 16 people were bitten by sharks in Florida without provocation; none of the bites were fatal. This accounts for 44% of all shark attacks worldwide.
It’s been advised by shark experts not to go swimming early in the morning or late at night and try not to wear anything bright in the water if you want to avoid dangerous contact with a shark.