Florida boy, 12, attacked by shark; second youth bitten in Volusia County this week: reports

Great White shark sightings expected to surge off the east coast

Fox News correspondent Alex Hogan has the latest from Beach Haven N.J. on ‘America Reports’

A 12-year-old Florida boy was taken to a hospital Friday after being bitten by a shark at a beach along the state’s central Atlantic coast, according to reports.

The boy was the second youth his age to be attacked in Volusia County this week, the reports said. 

The boy bitten Friday was standing in waist-deep water at Bethune Beach when he was bitten on his left arm, FOX 35 of Orlando reported. Officials said he never saw the shark. 

The boy, who hasn’t been identified, was treated by first responders at the scene and taken to the hospital by his parents. He was visiting from Orange City, around 34 miles northeast of Orlando, FOX 35 reported. His condition was not immediately disclosed. 

Earlier in the week, another 12-year-old was bitten on a leg by a shark at nearby New Smyrna Beach. 

Jai Villamil remained in a hospital after undergoing surgery earlier this week, according to WKMG-TV in Orlando. 

A 71-year-old man was attacked at the same beach on the same day. 

The man was standing in waist-deep water with his boogie board in New Smyrna Beach when the shark bit him on his right foot Monday. He was treated at the scene.

Volusia County has more shark attacks each year than anywhere else in the world but most aren’t severe, an expert told News 13 of Orlando.

Gavin Naylor, program director for the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told the station that a strong tidal flow in the Ponce de Leon Inlet brings cuttlefish into the area, attracting sharks. 

He added that sharks are also attracted to the movements of the area’s myriad surfers. 

“When people are paddling on their board, the soles of their feet catch the light and very quickly, in exactly the same way the scales on a mullet or a menhaden might catch the light,” he told the station. “And when you’re a predator, you don’t tarry. You have to be quick and make a quick decision.”

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