JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA/NBC) – A shark attacked a professional surfer near the Jacksonville Beach pier this weekend.
23-year-old Frank O’rourke says he’s lucky to still have his arm.
He says he was lying on his board in the water about 20 yards from the pier on Saturday afternoon when the shark suddenly latched onto his elbow, thrashed around for about 30 seconds and then swam away.
O’rourke says he was in shock as he headed back to shore.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that and I’ve been surfing 20 years, my whole life. And I’m out there every day when there’s waves. So it was interesting to see like.. at any moment, any given time something can happen to you so… it was crazy. O’rourke said.
Despite his injuries, he says he didn’t need to go to the hospital and simply had his wounds bandaged.
“I don’t know if you can see the little marks right there. But yeah, so it literally just latched on to my arm. And I’ve never felt a force like that from any animal or anything in my life, so I was in shock like I said. I was like, what is going on. And then it let go, luckily, so I was able to swim away and get on shore, but that was definitely intense.
O’rourke says he will stay out of the water for a few weeks to let his wounds heal and then he says he’s going surfing.
“Don’t be afraid. I’ve been surfing for 20 years and now it happened and you have more of a chance of being struck by lightning than being bit by a shark. So, honestly I went and bought a lottery ticket today because ya know what the odds are in my favor now.”