Florida Shark Attack Leaves Man With Huge Gaping Wound on Leg

A man was left with a huge wound to his leg after being bitten by a shark in the waters off Miami Beach, Florida.

The 31-year-old man suffered an 8-inch laceration below his knee after being attacked on Wednesday afternoon. He was hospitalized, although his injuries were not life-threatening, CBS4 Miami reported.

Following the attack, officials from Miami Beach Fire Rescue gave the man first aid on the beach and managed to stop the bleeding from his injury. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center as a precaution.

As of late Wednesday evening, the man was in a stable condition.

The shark responsible for the attack was a blacktip (Carcharhinus limbatus)—a species that can grow up to around 6.5 feet in length.

The sharks inhabit coastal tropical and subtropical waters around the world. In the U.S., they can be found all year-round in the Gulf of Mexico, but are also commonly seen from Florida all the way up to Virginia. The sharks have been spotted as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Images posted to social media show the 31-year-old man who was bitten by the blacktip lying on the beach as lifeguards tend to his bleeding right leg.

An eyewitness to the attack, who did want to be identified, told Local 10 that he saw the man trying to swim away from the shark, whose fin was protruding from the water. "He walked out of the water, bleeding, with at least six bite marks on him," the eyewitness said. "Suddenly he came out of the water. He fell down."

In response to Wednesday's incident, Miami Beach lifeguards flew red flags on Wednesday afternoon in the area around where the attack occurred, warning beachgoers not to enter the water.

Miami Beach police said that there appeared to be several bait fish schools in the area at the time of the incident, which may have attracted the sharks, the Miami Herald reported.

Aerial video footage broadcast by NBC 6 showed sharks chasing large schools of fish, close to the beach where the attack occurred. Small bait fish often appear in large numbers in the area around this time of year, drawing in sharks and other marine predators, Local 10 reported.

blacktip shark
Stock image showing a blacktip shark. A 31-year-old man was bitten by a blacktip in Miami Beach on Wednesday. iStock