'He was so brave:' Shark bites 13-year-old Florida surfer

Logan Radd suffers first reported shark bite at Brevard beach in 2019

Image from Florida Today.
Image from Florida Today.

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – Logan Radd has 19 stitches and a story to tell. 

The 13-year-old Satellite Beach surfing enthusiast was out with family about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, paddling in the ocean waves near the "Old Buccaneer" at the end of Grant Avenue. Suddenly he felt something snag at his foot, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

"I was coming in and he bit my foot and then he bit it again. It was probably a two-foot shark," said Logan, recalling how he made to shore in the knee-high surf. On the left heel of his left foot, two gaping wounds. His mother Jennifer Radd  - who was watching when she saw her son jerk his feet from the water and into the air before seeing a back-tipped shark nearby - quickly took him to Holmes Regional Medical Center for treatment. 

"He just told me, 'Mommy, don't cry," Radd recalled. "He was so brave, just telling me he was going to be okay. The bites looked pretty gnarly. and got him 19 stitches. He wasn't in pain until about 2:30 a.m. It's just the worst thing a mother could go through."

It was the first reported shark bite of the year at a Brevard County beach.  

Sharks frequent Florida’s beaches, cruising along the shoreline, chasing baitfish and causing temporary closures in some areas, especially during the summer months. 

“It’s been fairly quiet,” Brevard County Ocean Lifeguard Division Chief Eisen. “From our standpoint, we have not had any shark-related incidents in the lifeguarded areas.”

In 2018, the Florida Museum's International Shark Attack file reported 66 shark attacks, 32 of which were in the U.S. Half of those incidents took place in Florida. Four people were bitten off the shores of Brevard County in 2018, Witcher said. Lifeguards warn beachgoers to avoid getting in the water at either dusk or dawn since those are active time for sharks. They also advise residents to watch out for baitfish or small silver fish that typically attract sharks. 

Radd - who travels frequently to participant in surfing contests - recently finished third in the Boys Under 14 competition at the ESA Easterns Surfing Championships in Nags Head, N.C., while representing the Central Florida surf team. Tuesday, the teen hit the beach early on with his family and coach.

"He had been out surfing all day," Radd said of her son. "You hear about these things but you never think it will happen to someone you love," she said. 

For now, the home-schooled teen, who besides hitting the waves, loves to read, has been sidelined as he recuperates from his close encounter with a shark.

Doctors X-rayed the heel to ensure that the teen's ligaments were not damaged. No shark tooth fragments were found. However, the lure of paddling out on the waves at sunrise remains strong for Logan.

"I'm going back in as soon as I get the stitches out," he said. "Sharks are out there. I guess it was just my time to get bit. It's all a part of the water."