NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – A shark clamped down on a woman’s foot in New Smyrna Beach.
The 64-year-old woman was out on her longboard surfing with friends when she felt the bad bite just after 9 a.m. Friday.
Her family is grateful she was able to make it out alive after the attack.
“She said she saw it. Looked it right in the eye, clear as day. [She] said she’ll never forget it,” said the victim’s son, Derek Wikso.
Wikso said his mother may need surgery to repair fractures in her foot from the deep bite.
He shared pictures of her injury and said from the spacing and the puncture wounds, doctors estimated it was a 4-foot bull shark.
“Pretty good bite,” Wikso said. “Looks like she broke her foot, got the bottom shredded pretty good, top shredded pretty good.”
“We hope she heals up,” said one surfer. “It’s too bad. She surfs out here a lot.”
Surfers in the area said they heard her scream and guessed it was a shark bite.
“It happens, you know, but it’s pretty rare,” said a surfer. “We see them out here all the time, sometimes surfing over them when the water is clear.”
Beach safety officials said this particular area of New Smyrna Beach generates some of the best waves on the East Coast, which attracts surfers, but is also home to baitfish that sharks like to feed on.
“You have those surfers, you have those baitfish, and it’s just the perfect storm,” said Tammy Malphurs with Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue. “They’re chasing after baitfish, they accidentally get your foot, your hand, it’s a bite and release type deal.”
Wikso said his mother is a lifelong surfer who knows the area’s reputation. He doesn’t think her close encounter will keep her away from the waves in the future.
“I think she’ll be back in the water in a couple months when she’s all healed back up,” said Wikso.
Officials said this is the first shark bite of 2021 in New Smyrna Beach.
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