A surfer is recovering this hour after being bitten by a shark early Tuesday morning.
Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) crews were dispatched to Coconut Point Park, located at 3535 Highway A1A in Melbourne Beach, for a reported shark bite around 8 a.m.
Paramedics treated a 32-year-old man with minor puncture wounds to the hand. He said he was surfing in the area when he believes he was nipped by a shark. The man said he was in the process of paddling out and had just placed his hand in the water when he felt something bite and let go. The surfer did not see the shark, but wounds were consistent with a shark bite.
His hand was treated by paramedics at the beach and he didn't need to be taken to a hospital.
This was the first reported shark bite in Brevard County this year but the third incident reported in as many days along the Space Coast. Two people were bitten on Sunday along beaches in Volusia County.
While the victim's identity is not being released, we can tell you that he is a local college student who went out to catch some waves before class. It took 30 stitches for doctors to sew his hand back up. Word of that bite was spreading fast at Coconut Point Park Tuesday afternoon.
"Haven't been bitten yet. Today might be the day. If it is, that's God's plan," said Chandler Moore who drove up from Martin County to take advantage of the swells.
Moore and other surfers heading out into the water didn't seem to affected by the news of a shark bites.
"I think my statistical odds are a little bit lower, so I'm going to go for it," said Moore. He estimates he surfs at least 20 days out of the month, and he see lots of sharks.
"Pretty much every time you go out. Generally they're not too big, 4 to 6-foot spinners."
Florida Institute of Technology professor George Maul said the recent shark bitings are most likely because bait fish, like mullet, are running and jumping.
"They're opportunity feeders. They're going to be particularly where the water is turbid. Sharks can't see what the prey is. They'll bump into something and just take a bit out of it," said Maul.
Typically it winds up being a surfers hand or foot, that's dangling in the water that gets bitten.
Chuck Hampton's been surfing for 25 years. He said he see sharks regularly but is thankful that he has never been bitten. His secret? "Paddle away with your feet up. Paddle next to your buddy, and you've got to paddle faster than your buddy! That's all."