A Florida man was bitten on both of his legs by a 4-to-5-foot bull shark on Sunday as he and other beachgoers rushed to get out of the water.
Right before the attack, lifeguards at Haulover Beach in Miami immediately began blowing their whistles after spotting the shark in the water, according to Local 10.
The unidentified man was able to get to shore with non-life-threatening injuries and is being treated at Aventura Hospital.
“It started getting closer to the people at the sandbar and they tried to get out,” witness Donovan Cecil told the outlet. “One guy, it went straight towards him and bit his leg, pulled him, gave him a little tug, and I was freaking out.”
According to Lt. Matthew Sparling from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the incident is “extremely rare.”
“This is the first shark attack in Miami-Dade County that I’ve been aware of working 20 years in ocean rescue,” he told the news outlet.
Although shark attacks are very rare, beach season is heating up, so PEOPLE spoke with Larry Cahoon, professor of biology and marine biology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, about what do to if you come face-to-face with a shark.
“People say to swim slowly back to shore, but what is that going to do? Swim to shore as fast as you can. A shark that means to eat you will keep coming,” Cahoon says. “You need to call for help. People who survive all but the least damaging shark attacks got immediate help from others.”
According to experts, attempting to punch a shark in the nose could put you in an even worse position — closer to its teeth! Despite the popular believe that aiming for the snout is the best strategy, a shark’s most sensitive areas are actually the eyes and gills. So if a shark does come for you, claw at its eyes and gills.