Known as the “unofficial shark bite capital of the world,” Florida’s beach-goers seem to be unlucky with shark attacks. Last week was no different, as a shark encountered a 16-year-old surfer just off a Florida coast.
Georgia resident Doyle Nielson was paddling his surfboard in New Smyrna Beach as the shark attack happened around 1:20 p.m. on September 8. Footage posted to Instagram shows the six-foot shark swimming through the waves before biting Nielson’s arm. Nielson required nine stitches for the injury.
Initially, Nielson believed another surfer had hit him. He didn’t realize he had been bitten until other surfers who saw the attack warned him to get out of the water. “It felt like someone on their surfboard had come full speed directly at me and hit me super hard,” Dailymail UK reports.
Fortunately, Nielson made it safely to the shore, where Ocean Rescue stitched him up. Nielson was among many surfers riding the strong wells Hurricane Larry left. Saying he’ll return to surf soon, Nielson adds he’ll be more cautious. “I’ll definitely be surfing again, but I know that it’ll affect my mindset. Like, I’ll be a little more cautious in the water.”
Sam Scribner recorded the clip shown on Instagram and just so happened to be filming the beach’s waves. “Larry certainly brought us good waves, but apparently the true locals of Ponce Inlet weren’t happy about the crowd,’ he wrote on an Instagram post. “I certainly don’t want to villainize sharks, this is something that’s all too common in the waters around New Smyrna Beach.”
Alabama Man Unknowingly Cuts State Record Bonito Fish Into Shark Bait
While Doyle Nielson unexpectedly ran into a shark, a man from Alabama was fishing for them last week. To his surprise, a bonito fish he cut up into shark bait happened to be a state record for its massive size.
Kayle Davis was participating in the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo earlier this summer. He targeted tuna and was catching smaller fish to use to catch sharks. Catching several decently-sized bonito fish, he cut them into shark bait. However, both he and his crew had no idea one of the bonito was actually a state record.
Davis recalls catching the bonito. “We were catching them in varying sizes, some like that one that turned out to be the new state record. We were cutting them in half to freeze them for bait. We decided to keep that one to turn in at the rodeo. We had no idea we had a state record on board.”
It wasn’t until one of Davis’ friends checked in with the rodeo they knew what they had done. Despite the fish being cut in half and frozen, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources verified the catch. Weighing in at 22-pounds 4-ounces, it beat the previous record set in 1956 of 21-pounds.