Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sharks Close Beach In Cocoa Beach, Boy Bitten

A Cocoa Beach firefighter carries a bandaged boy across the beach after the boy suffered a bite from an unknown animal in the ocean near the Cocoa Beach Pier on Saturday.

COCOA BEACH, Florida - Swimmers were temporarily ordered out of the Atlantic Ocean by Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards along a stretch of beach Saturday morning in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Lifeguards flew double red flags and ordered swimmers out of the water after sharks were spotted near the Cocoa Beach Pier just before 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Around thirty minutes later, beachgoers were allowed back into the water.  Sharks swimming in shallow waters were again spotted by beachgoers and Cocoa Beach Beach Rangers in the afternoon along beaches without lifeguards between the Cocoa Beach Pier and Shepard Park.

Lifeguards flew "no swimming" double red flags at Cocoa Beach lifeguard stands at the Cocoa Beach Pier after a shark was spotted Saturday morning. Photo Credit: Brevard Times

Later that same day, a boy was bitten in the ocean by an unknown animal near the Cocoa Beach Pier around 7:45 p.m. Crews with the Cocoa Beach Fire Department bandaged the boy's wound, but the child was not transported by ambulance.  The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) advises swimmers to avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active and have a competitive sensory advantage.

There have been several shark sightings that have closed beaches off of Cocoa Beach and shark attacks this year.  According to the  ISAF 2014 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary, Florida ranks #1 in the number of unprovoked shark bites. Within the Sunshine State, Volusia County ranks number 1 and Brevard County, which includes Cocoa Beach, ranks number 2.
Beachgoers were ordered out of the water after sharks were spotted off of Cocoa Beach, Florida on Saturday.

Bull, black tip, and spinner sharks around 3-5 feet long have either been spotted or caught near-shore during the 2015 summer off of Cocoa Beach, along with smaller Bonnethead sharks which resemble Hammerhead sharks. 

Signs of sharks in the water: In addition to spotting the telltale shark fins, fish jumping out of water or sea birds hovering at the surface of the water could indicate the presence of feeding sharks. Swim near a lifeguard area (their elevated position on a lifeguard tower is better for shark spotting) and pay attention to warning flags.