Man struggles with nurse shark that bites not once but twice

MARATHON, FLA. (WSVN) - A man was attacked by a shark in the Florida Keys, but this shark decided not to let go.

Ervin McCarty was caught on video with a 2- to 3-foot-long nurse shark latched onto his stomach. McCarty and others were on a fishing boat as they attempted to get the shark off his stomach.

However, removing the shark proved a taller task than expected.

“Get this damn thing off of me!” shouted McCarty.

McCarty was lobstering and spearfishing with family and friends when, he said, he dove down about 12 feet to get a grouper someone else had speared.

“I turned to go back up for air when something hit me in the stomach,” said McCarty. “I didn’t know if someone kicked me or what. But whatever hit me was militant.”

McCarty surfaced far from the boat due to a strong current, still struggling to shake off the shark. “I had to grab it with both hands to keep it from shaking and come up for air at the same time,” he said.

The shark tried to pull him under water, but after a 20-minute struggle, the shark was pulled off McCarty. “I thought I was drowning,” said McCarty.

McCarty said he was out of breath and lacked energy in order to keep the nurse shark from shaking.

How did they get the shark off him? A friend stabbed the nurse shark and said it was their only option.

After stabbing the shark, it took six minutes longer for its jaws to release — before biting McCarty a second time.

The shark let go a bit easier, though, this time.

After a medical check-up, McCarty said he’s ready to go back into the water. “I’ll continue to fish. I’ll continue to snorkel,” he said. “Just make sure there’s not a nurse shark around.”

Researchers have said that while nurse sharks are generally docile, they will bite if they’re provoked.

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