The 13-year-old boy was pulled from the water by other swimmers after he was bitten on the leg

By Mollie Cahillane
May 30, 2016 12:10 PM
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

A Florida teenager has “a huge gash” on his leg after he suffered a shark attack on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

The 13-year-old boy was pulled from the water by other swimmers after he was bitten on the leg, according to the Neptune Beach Police Department. The bite marks were consistent with a 5 to 6 foot shark.

A witness told NBC station WLTV that a woman carried the boy out of the water.

“Someone [was] saying, ‘Oh, my God, he got bit,'” the witness said. “All you see is just blood dripping and dripping out for about 50 feet and he had a huge gash in his lower leg.”

Raw video footage obtained by CBS47/ FOX30 in Jacksonville, shows the boy being treated on the beach.

The boy was taken to a local hospital where he is in stable condition.

The attack at Neptune Beach, east of Jacksonville, comes less than a week after an 11-year-old girl was bitten in Jacksonville. It’s the third attack this month on the First Coast.

Also on Sunday, a three-mile stretch of Corona del Mar State Beach in Southern California was closed after a shark reportedly bit a woman.

Lifeguards found the woman about 150 yards offshore. They pulled her out and saw she had large bites on her upper torso and shoulder, NBC4 reports.

She was taken to a local hospital and she was conscious and breathing, police said.

Officials could not find the shark after the attack, but the water was evacuated and the beach will be closed for 24 hours. According to trauma personnel, the shark was a great white, reports CBSLA.com.

The beach was crowded with Memorial Day weekend beachgoers at the time of the probable attack.

Just two weeks ago, a two-foot nurse shark latched onto a woman’s arm in Boca Raton and wouldn’t let go. The 23-year-old victim ran out of the water with it still attached.

The number of shark attacks was at a worldwide high in 2015 with 98 unprovoked attacks. Florida reported 30 shark attacks in 2015 – the most of any state in the U.S.

Shark expert Larry Cahoon tells PEOPLE that despite the onset of recent 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,” Larry Cahoon, professor of biology and marine biology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, tells PEOPLE. “The fact is that sharks have millions of contact hours with humans on beaches every year, yet attacks are really rare. Just be smart.”

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. Swim to shore as fast as you can – shark that means to eat you will keep coming. Basically, don’t swim alone in shark waters.” ”

Although Cahoon says there isn’t much you can do once you’re in the water, there are important precautions you can take to prevent an attack from happening in the first place.

“Sharks hear very well. They know you’re swimming, they know where you are and they normally don’t care,” he says. “But the one thing that changes the dynamic is if sharks hear fish struggling when fishers are reeling them in.”

That’s the moment Cahoon says to stay out of the water.

“That’s a dinner bell to them and they can get very interested in eating,” he says. “That’s when they’re probably more likely to attack a human, either from mistaken identity of from being actually interested in eating something that’s close by.”

Cahoon adds: “If you’re bleeding, get out of the water or you will quickly become their dinner.”

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