Beach Closed After 2 People Bitten by Sharks

Fernandina Beach shuts down for a day
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2018 11:55 AM CDT
2 People Bitten by Sharks Over a Few Minutes
A black tip shark.   (Getty Images)

Once is happenstance—twice, you close the darn beach. That's what officials did at Fernandina Beach near Jacksonville on Friday after two people suffered shark bites, My Fox 8 reports. First up was a 30-year-old man surfing with his son, then came a 17-year-old boy, but luckily neither attack was life-threatening. "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," Dustin Theobald tells WJXT Jacksonville from his hospital bed at Baptist Medical Center Nassau. "I reached down for my foot. I put my hand on his head—he was probably four to five feet—and when I did that, he shook twice and when I did that he released and left."

Theobald suffered puncture wounds and lacerations to his right foot from what he figures was a black tip shark or nurse shark. "It looks like I might have some tendon damage," he adds. "But it's cut, it's bad. It's 4-inch lacerations on the top and bottom." A few minutes after Theobald's attack, rescuers heard that a teenager had been bitten in the foot in shallow water about a mile away. The teen was taken to hospital with puncture wounds. "The waters are back open this morning," the city declared Saturday on Twitter. "Ocean Rescue will remain on high alert and will continue monitoring the water." Perfectly, Saturday was Shark Awareness Day. (More sharks stories.)

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