Monday, May 23, 2016

2 Separate Shark Attacks In Florida Over Weekend

UPDATE: A third shark attack occurred on Sunday, May 29, 2016.

Two separate shark attacks occurred over the weekend in the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of Florida.  

Around 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2016, a swimmer was bitten by a shark at at Huguenot Memorial Park in North Jacksonville, Florida. This was the second shark bite within a week off of the northeastern Florida coast, according to First Coast News.

Another shark bit a 57-year-old woman around noon on Sunday, May 21, 2016. She was swimming about 100 yards off the coast of Vero Beach, Florida when the shark attacked. The bite was described as an exploratory bite, meaning the shark bit once and left, TC Palm reports.

Florida holds the dubious title of having more shark attacks than any other state in the United States. According to the University of Florida International Shark Attack File, the Sunshine State accounted for 51% of the unprovoked shark attacks in the United States and nearly a third of the world's total shark bites in 2015. 

The number of shark attacks typically increase from May through August as more people head to the beach during the summer travel season. Also, there was a Full Moon over the weekend - a favored time for anglers to go shark fishing during increased feeding activity.

How to avoid shark attacks: In addition to spotting the telltale 'JAWS' 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.