|Double red flags flew over a lifeguard tower at the Cocoa Beach Pier after sharks were spotted in the water.|
COCOA BEACH, Florida - Swimmers were temporarily ordered out of the Atlantic Ocean by Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards along a stretch of beach in Cocoa Beach, Florida after sharks were spotted in the water.
According to witnesses, two, maybe three, sharks were sighted just beyond the wave break in the ocean off the beach located on the south side of the Cocoa Beach pier around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 4, 2016.
After about thirty minutes, beachgoers were allowed back into the water. The beach on the north side of the pier, which had no lifeguards, remained open to swimmers throughout the day.
According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) 2015 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary, Florida ranks #1 in the number of unprovoked shark bites. Brevard County, which includes Cocoa Beach, ranks number 1 in the most amount of unprovoked shark bites in the Sunshine State.
Black tip and spinner sharks around 3-5 feet long have either been spotted or caught near-shore off of Cocoa Beach in recent months, along with smaller Bonnethead sharks which resemble Hammerhead sharks.
How to spot sharks in the water: In addition to spotting the telltale shark dorsal 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.