NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — A 38-year-old South Carolina man is recovering Tuesday after he was bitten in the face by a shark in New Smyrna Beach, according to NBC Affiliate WESH.
The attack happened right before 8 a.m. when the man was surfing. The news outlet reported the encounter was at the inlet, where most shark bites occur.
WESH reported that they’ve been unable to reach the victim, but he was taken to Halifax Health, a trauma center, out of precaution, but he has since been released.
Shark bites in Volusia County are typically not life-threatening, but the area is notorious for its numerous attacks over the years. So much so that the county is considered to be the “shark bite capital of the world.”
“As we were walking out this morning, we saw four or five spinners ourselves,” longtime surfer Ron Robinson told WESH. Robinson had gotten to the jetty shortly after the victim was bit and saw him being transported.
He told WESH that he learned the victim had been “bitten on the right side of his cheek, between his ear and his eye, after riding a wave and coming off the board.”
“Nine out of 10 times, it’s because they’ll fall in the shallow water, and they’ll spook the shark, and it’s a reaction bite,” Robinson said.
WESH’s helicopter flew over the area earlier and spotted several sharks in the water near the jetty. The outlet also reported seeing “plenty of surfers” as well.
According to WESH, Tuesday’s bite marks the seventh shark bite in Volusia County so far this year.