Florida Man Jumps off a Surfboard, Lands on a Shark

A shark bit a surfer in Florida after the man jumped on the animal over the weekend, according to officials.

A Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue spokesperson told Newsweek that 32-year-old Stephen Michelena came off his board off the coast of the city of New Smyrna Beach, south of Daytona Beach, in east-central Florida on Sunday afternoon.

Captain Tamra Malphurs said the service responded to a 911 call of a shark bite at an inlet at around 1 p.m., after a man "jumped off his surfboard and onto a shark." The surfer suffered minor cuts on his left foot and was treated at the scene.

After the incident, the surfer drove himself home to Orlando, Malphurs said.

It was unclear what species of shark the man encountered. The surfer was also unable to estimate the size of the shark.

The incident was the twelfth bite to occur off the coast of Volusia County this year.

Downtown New Smyrna beach is to the west of the Indian River Lagoon, North America's most diverse estuary. The lagoon is home to over 2,200 animals including bull, spinner, bonnethead blacktip and Atlantic sharpnose sharks.

New Smyrna Beach is referred to as the "shark-bite capital of the world." According to the International Shark Attack File, there were 16 unprovoked shark attacks in Florida in 2018, with 25 percent of the state total occurring in Volusia County where the city is located.

In August, a different surfer also jumped on a shark in the waters off New Smyrna Beach.

Donald Walsh, a chiropractor from Mims in Brevard County, Florida, was surfing at around 11:55 a.m. on Tuesday, August 27, when he caught air on a wave, Click Orlando reported. He then landed on a shark which he believed was around 6.5ft long. The animal bit his leg and hand.

Ocean Rescue attended the scene, and treated Walsh for his injuries. Walsh, who was 40 at the time, did not need hospital treatment. Walsh told Click Orlando he didn't notice the shark was there until it bit him.

Walsh said at the time: "Took a wave, one thing I never do, I never really try to throw an air but I tried to throw one. Didn't land it, landed on a shark instead and he decided to take a bite out of me."

He said: "It felt like a freight train hit me and the first thing I could think of was to literally push him away from me and as soon as it happened, I grabbed my board and started to paddle as fast as I could."

Despite the ordeal, Walsh was not deterred from surfing.

"I'll get back in as soon the stitches come out and the wounds are closed up, I'll get back in the water," Walsh said at the time.

This article has been updated with comment and information on the bite and the victim from Tamra Malphurs.

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A surfer in Florida landed on a shark over the weekend. In this stock image, a surfer is pictured at Bondi beach in Sydney, Australia on February 24, 2012. Getty
Florida Man Jumps off a Surfboard, Lands on a Shark | News