Shark Bites Chunk Out of Boy's Shoulder at Miami Beach During Vacation

A nine-year-old boy on vacation in Florida was bitten by a shark in the waters off Miami Beach on Sunday.

The Weiskopf family were visiting the state from Minnesota, Local 10 News reported. During their stay, Kristine Weiskopf and her son Jay decided to take a dip in the ocean at the popular tourist spot. But just a few minutes later, the shark attack occurred.

"I was holding his hand the whole time and he was kind of body surfing a little bit and he had fallen on his stomach," the mother told Local 10.

When she pulled him up, she noticed that there was what she described as a chunk of skin missing from her son's shoulder.

"He just said 'ow' and I looked down and there was about a four-foot gray shark just kinda swimming away, so I just scooped him up and ran him up the beach," she said.

The family contacted the emergency services and Miami Beach Fire Rescue responded to the incident.

Emergency responders rushed the boy to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery to close up the large wound on his shoulder.

The father, Ren Weiskopf, said the family was shocked by the incident but grateful that their son's injuries were not worse.

"I just love him so much. He's such a great kid and we're still in shock, but thankful. We thank God that he didn't take his life. That he's gonna be OK," the boy's father, Ren Weiskopf, told Local News 10.

According to the parents, the doctors who treated their son expressed concerns about the possibility that the wound could become infected, and that the injury could have an impact on the boy's mobility in the long-term. But medical staff also told the family that the child's prognosis was good because he is young.

"He just wants to go home and it's really sad because we had so much fun planned," Kristine Weiskopf said.

After the attack, the family says they are concerned for other people currently enjoying the waters off Miami Beach.

"What I don't like right now is that the beach is still open, and kids are still down there playing, and they are in the same spot where my son just got attacked. I don't know if it's just because of spring break or whatever, but the beach should be closed," Ren Weiskopf said.

Despite their fearsome reputation, shark bites on humans are very rare—and fatal incidents are even rarer. Your odds of being killed by a shark are about one in 3.7 million, according to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) operated by the Florida Museum of Natural History. In fact, you are more likely to die from a lightning strike than being attacked by a shark.

in 20201, 57 shark attacks were recorded around the world, 10 of which were fatal, ISAF figures show. Florida, is a hotspot for shark attacks, with the state accounting for around a third of the global figure from last year.

Over the weekend, Miami Beach imposed an 8 p.m. curfew in its entertainment district as well as other "emergency measures" due to concerns over unruly spring break crowds amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A great white shark
Stock image showing a great white shark. On Sunday, a boy was bitten by a shark in Florida. iStock