Second shark bite reported on Florida beach in as many days: How to avoid being a victim

A man is recovering after being bitten by a shark while sitting in the water at a Central Florida beach.

The incident was the second shark attack at New Smyrna Beach over the weekend and the third bite this year in Volusia County. 

Volusia County Beach Safety officials said the 48-year-old Lake Worth man was bitten by the shark near the south jetty shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, causing minor injuries to his back. The man, however, refused to go to the hospital. 

On the day prior, officials said a 21-year-old DeLand man was surfing a little after 3 p.m. when he was attacked by a shark. 


The man suffered serious injuries to his foot and was taken to the hospital by Volusia County Emergency Medical Services. 

He was also in the south jetty area when the attack happened. 

What are the odds of being bitten by a shark?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said it's "extremely unlikely" for a person to be bitten by a shark in Florida waters. If a shark does attack, officials said the injury is typically not life-threatening. 

If swimming on an ocean beach or inland waters, the FWC recommends staying in groups, as sharks are likely to bite a solitary individual, swimming in areas tended by lifeguards and avoiding being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active. 

Sharks also tend to hunt in areas where there are large schools of bait fish, such as opening to jetties. 

"Those juvenile sharks are swimming around feeding on the bait fish, and they grab a person by accident and realize, ‘Hey, this is bigger than me and definitely not what I want!’ They release, and swim away," explained Capt. AJ Miller, with the Volusia County Beach Safety.

Miller also advises surfers to watch out for pelicans diving into the water.  "That means there's a big bait pod, which chances are there's going to be bigger fish chasing those smaller fish which could lead to sharks as well," he added.

Do sharks hunt people?

Sharks would much rather feed on fish and marine mammals, experts said. "Sharks have been known to attack humans when they are confused or curious. If a shark sees a human splashing in the water, it may try to investigate, leading to an accidental attack," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website stated.