Man bitten in face by shark while surfing in Florida

Officials say the man, who was surfing in Florida, was bitten after he came off his board in a wave. (WESH via CNN)
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 6:05 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (WESH) - A man surfing in Florida was bitten on the face by a shark after riding a wave and coming off his board.

Officials say a 38-year-old surfer from South Carolina came off his board in a wave just before 8 a.m. Tuesday near a jetty in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. He ended up face-to-face with a shark that bit him on the top right side of his cheek between his ear and eye.

The man was taken to the hospital but was released just a few hours after arriving there. His condition is not known.

Many surfers remained around the jetty, even after the incident, and a few sharks could be seen in the water, as well.

Longtime surfer Ron Robinson arrived shortly after the victim was bitten.

“Nine out of 10 times, it’s because they’ll fall in the shallow water and spook the shark, and it’s a reaction bite. It’s not like the shark just comes after them,” Robinson said.

Experts have long said a shark bite is usually a case of mistaken identity, and the locals agree. Injuries typically occur to hands or feet as sharks chomp down on what they think is a fish.

“They’re just critters looking for food, you know? Like me and you. And when you go in the water, you enter the food chain,” surfer Daniel Hanson said.

Tuesday’s incident is the seventh shark bite in Volusia County so far this year.