The beaches remained open after a 10-year-old suffered minor injuries after being attacked by a shark
A 10-year-old boy suffered minor injuries after he was attacked by a shark Wednesday in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida.
He is the second child his age to be hurt by a shark in Florida in the past week, according to NBC.
He was bitten on the calf as he swam in chest-deep waters shorty after 1 p.m.
The boy, like the two teenagers who were attacked on Sunday in North Carolina, was not from the area. He was vacationing from Georgia.
“I heard him start yelling as we were walking back out and he said something bit him,” the victim’s father, Kenneth Wood, told WESH.
Fortunately, the boy was treated at the scene and didn’t have to go to the hospital.
“I was scared there for a while. Now I know he’s all right,” Wood said.
Shark expert Larry Cahoon told PEOPLE that despite the recent shark attacks, beachgoers shouldn’t avoid the ocean.
“You have a higher chance of getting into a car accident driving to the beach than you do getting attacked by a shark when you get there,” Cahoon, professor of biology and marine biology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, says. “The fact is that sharks have millions of contact hours with humans on beaches every year, yet attacks are really rare. Just be smart.”
“Sharks are frightened of us,” he adds. “They normally will only attack us if they mistake us for their typical prey, like skate and rays.”
But when they do attack, just swim back to shore as fast as you can, he advises.
“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. You need to call for help. People who survive all but the least damaging shark attacks got immediate help from others,” he says. “Basically, don’t swim alone in shark waters.”
And when it comes to fending off a shark, Cahoon says punching it in the nose, gills or eyes won’t do much good.
“A 10-foot bull shark will weigh close to 500 pounds and is essentially all muscle. What chance would anyone have?” says Cahoon. “You won’t be thinking rationally even if you have the opportunity to punch it, so just focus on getting back to land.”