Three People Injured in Separate Shark Attacks Within 24 Hours at Florida Beach

New Smyrna Beach is known as the "shark attack capital of the world"

New Smyrna Beach, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Photo: Getty

A man and woman were bitten by sharks within 30 minutes of each other at a Florida beach on Saturday — and another person was attacked at the beach the next day, authorities say.

Emily Comfort, 20, was surfing at New Smyrna Beach on the central east coast of Florida around 3:30 p.m. when at least one shark attacked, biting her on the left hand, arm and wrist, according to a spokesperson for the Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue. About 30 minutes later, a shark gripped 21-year-old Riley Petrovich at the ankle, leaving him with a foot laceration.

The injuries were not life-threatening and Petrovich was treated at the scene. Comfort was taken to a local hospital where she received stitches, according to the Associated Press.

Then on Sunday, Peter Bourbeau, 51, was attacked by a shark as he waded in the water. According to the Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue spokesperson, Bourbeau kicked the four-foot shark and it swam away. He declined to be taken to a hospital.

New Smyrna Beach is known as the “shark attack capital of the world,” according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.

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The New Smyrna Beach attacks are the latest in a string of headlines about similar incidents this summer. Just last month, New Smyrna Beach saw two shark attacks in a three-day period.

On July 29 around 1:30 p.m., Reed Zipperer, 18, was surfing when a shark bit him, leaving three hand wounds.

“Went to paddle, and it just like, just bit me and I looked at it. Like three deep gashes. Like, sick, man,” Zipperer told CBS affiliate WKMG. “On the way here, we were talking like, all about sharks.”

Zipperer’s friends took him to a local hospital where he received 19 stitches, according to WKMG. Zipperer, of Indian Harbour Beach, said he doesn’t blame the shark.

“There’s a lot of bait in the water. The water is super murky and like, I don’t blame him,” he said. “My hand probably looks yummy to them. I would do the same thing.”

Three days earlier, on July 27, a 49-year-old man named William Angell was bitten on his right thigh while boogie boarding, ABC affiliate KNXV reported at the time.

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