For the second time in just three days, New Smyrna Beach on Florida’s eastern coast has recorded its second shark attack. According to CBS affiliate WKMG-TV, 18-year-old Reed Zipperer suffered lacerations to his left hand after being bitten by a shark while he was surfing near a jetty Monday afternoon.
According to authorities, the teen, from Indian Harbor Beach, had been in waist-deep water when the attack occurred at around 1:30 p.m. local time.
“Went to paddle, and it just like, just bit me and I looked at it. Like three deep gashes. Like, sick, man," Zipperer said of the attack. “On the way here, we were talking like, all about sharks."
The shark, which only bit once, left wounds on Zipperer’s hand hat required 19 stitches, though the teen refused to go to the hospital and sought medical attention himself. Despite the rare and terrifying occurrence, Zipperrer said that he doesn’t hold any negative feelings towards the shark.
“There's a lot of bait in the water. The water is super murky and like, I don't blame him. My hand probably looks yummy to them. I would do the same thing," he said, adding that “when there's good waves, there's good waves. You just got to risk it man.”
The attack comes just days after 49-year-old William Angell, who was vacationing in Florida from Arizona, was attacked along New Smyrna Beach while boogie boarding. According to authorities, Angell “received lacerations to the right thigh from one strike” and was “treated on scene” for his injuries.
Known as the “shark bite capital of the world,” New Smyrna Beach is notorious for its incidences of shark and human interaction. Since the late 1800s, there have been more than 300 reported unprovoked shark attacks on humans in Velusia County, where the beach is located, a number that far surpasses the likes of Hawaii at 162 attacks for the entire state and California, which has seen 124 attacks since 1834.
Proving just how closely sharks are in the water, a father visiting New Smyrna Beach weeks ago captured a drone image of a shark swimming close to those in the water.
Of course, New Smyrna Beach is far from the only beach in Florida to be the scene of a shark attack. This year alone, there have been 11 reported attacks along the Florida coastline, three of which were provoked, according to Tracking Sharks. Worldwide, 51 shark bites have been reported in 2019, with 26 of those occurring in the United States.