Beach officials said the woman suffered lacerations and was taken to a nearby hospital

By Joelle Goldstein
April 30, 2021 01:39 PM
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New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna Beach
| Credit: Getty

A 64-year-old woman has been hospitalized after she was bitten by a shark at a Florida beach, according to local reports.

The woman was on a paddleboard at New Smyrna Beach around 9 a.m. Friday when the attack happened, NBC affiliate WESH and The Orlando Sentinel reported, citing Volusia County Beach Safety.

Beach officials told WESH that the woman — whose identity has not been released — was in approximately 8-10 feet of water when the shark suddenly approached and bit her on the foot.

The victim, who claimed that she did not see the shark, suffered lacerations and was later transported to a hospital to be treated, according to the local television outlet.

At this time, her condition remains unknown and it is unclear if anyone else witnessed the incident.

A spokesperson for Volusia County Beach Safety did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Officials told WESH and the Sentinel that the incident marks the first shark bite of the 2021 season at New Smyrna Beach.

The beach — which is located south of Daytona Beach and is known as a surf hub — is often referred to as the "shark attack capital of the world," according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

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Typically, Volusia County — and specifically, New Smyrna Beach — leads Florida and the world in shark bites, the Sentinel reported, citing the International Shark Attack File.

Last year, the United States marked 33 total attacks, with a majority of the incidents happening in Florida, according to the Sentinel. Of the 16 cases reported in Florida, 50% of them occurred in Volusia County, the local newspaper reported.

Though this incident marks the first bite at New Smyrna Beach, there have been other shark attacks documented this year, including two that occurred in March in South Florida involving out-of-state visitors, according to the Sentinel.