For the third time this month, there has been a shark bite in the Florida Keys. On Friday, a fisherman was hospitalized after a shark bite, deputies said. And this time, the shark struck while on land.
Around 8 p.m., the 35-year-old was fishing off a dock on Flagship Drive in Sumerland Key, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said. The shark was on the dock with the angler when it took a bite of his foot.
It’s unclear if the man, who was not identified, reeled in the shark or how it ended up on the dock.
He was flown to Jackson South Medical Center. His condition is unknown, deputies said.
Increase in shark bites to be expected
May has already seen three shark bite incidents, including this newest bite, in Monroe County. Dr. Gavin Naylor at the University of Florida’s Program for Shark Research says this is to be expected moving into the summer.
“As the water warms and people get in the water we expect to see more shark bites in Monroe County,” said Naylor, director of the program.
On Thursday, another man was bitten on the leg when he was out spearfishing off the Middle Keys city of Marathon.
Local 10 News spoke to the fisherman, 20-year-old Kevin Blanco, who said “It felt like I got hit by an F-150.”
He was about 70 feet underwater with his friends when the attack happened. He told the station he felt excruciating pain after being bitten.
On May 5, 22-year-old Ethan Wilder was spearfishing when he was bitten on the leg by a shark near Davis Reef off the Upper Keys.
Naylor said these types of encounters that happen during spearfishing, surfing or unhooking sharks from caught nets are classified as “provoked attacks.” Statistically, “unprovoked attacks” are more common.
A majority of provoked shark attacks happen in low-visibility water because sharks can’t see what they are doing, Naylor said.
The shark may be going after fish blood in the water or what it thought was prey, not intentionally going after a human like a certain popular ‘70s movie villain.