Florida beach reopens after 2 reported shark attacks

File Photo: UPI

July 15 (UPI) — A beach in northern Florida reopened after two people were bitten in separate apparent shark bite incidents.

The city of Fernandina Beach on Saturday posted on Twitter: “The waters are back open this morning. Ocean Rescue will remain on high alert and will continue monitoring the water.”

Saturday was Shark Awareness Day across the nation.

“Both patients are reportedly stable, with non-life-threatening injuries,” the city fire department said in a news release. “Neither patient could advise what type or size of marine life had caused their respective injuries.”

The city had closed the beach to swimmers on Friday afternoon after the two “alleged” incidents.

At 3:35 p.m. Friday, the city’s fire department said it received a report of a shark incident. Three minutes later, department received a report of a second biting.

WJXT-TV reported a 30-year-old man was bitten on the foot and a 17-year-old boy was bitten also bit on a foot about a mile away.

The man, Dustin Theobald, said he was surfing with his 8-year-old son near Seaside Park when he was bitten by a nurse shark or a black tip shark.

“I was in 2 feet of water, or less, lying on my stomach, watching him just playing in the surf and I felt something grab onto my foot and pull,” Theobald said from a hospital bed at Baptist Medical Center Nassau. “I reached down for my foot. I put my hand on his head — he was probably 4-5 feet [long] — and when I did that, he shook twice and when I did that he released and left.”

The second victim, an unidentified teen, was taken to University of Florida Health in Jacksonville with non-life-threatening puncture wounds to his foot.


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