Holiday weekend plus perfect swells equals a busy beach today of swimmers, surfers and sharks!
"I just saw a black tip. It was trying to go back out," said Mary Johnston of New Smyrna Beach. That's whys he got her grand kids out of the water for a while. "We went down and watched for him. When we saw he wasn't around anymore we said okay, lets go back," said Johnston. She had not heard about the woman in her 50s and an 8 year old girl who had been yesterday in the same Sunday where she was surfing with her grandchildren.
According to the Volusia County Beach Patrol, both victims suffered shark bites on their ankles late in the afternoon near the jetty on New Smyrna Beach in waters about two feet deep. Kayla, Johnston's granddaughter, is the same age as the younger victim. She's got some shark stories of her own. She was out surfing with her grandfather here last year when he was bitten.
"It was a spinner shark and it was looking for food. It bit him because his foot was in the water," said Kayla. Grandpa showed scars from the shark's teeth where he had to get 30 stitches. Then Sunday was out surfing with her dad when he had a close call. He fell off his board and he hit a shark. That was yesterday. Kicked a shark and it swam away. Didn't' do anything didn't come back," said Kayla.
The Johnston's attitude about sharks common among local surfers, "It's their ocean, so we need to watch out for them," said Mary. Even though most shark attacks in Volusia County happen right here near the jetty, they keep coming back. That's because as the locals say, this is the best break on the beach. Johnston says she and her family have been surfing these waters fro 37 years, and there's not a day that goes by that she, her husband, son, son-in-law, or grandchildren is out surfing. So far, only her husband has been bitten.
Beach patrol says a good sign that something is feeding in the water, possibly a shark, are school of fish jumping out of the water or a pelican on the hunt over head. Some locals tell us another sign is if you're in the water and suddenly notice a pungent fishy scent, there's likely something feeding below. All of those make a good sign that it's time to get out of the water for a little while, just in case.
Both of Sundays victims requires a few stitches, but according to VCBP they're at home recovering.