NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – An 18-year-old man was bitten by a shark at New Smyrna Beach on Monday afternoon while he was surfing, according to the beach patrol.
The teen from Indian Harbor Beach was surfing near a jetty around 1:30 p.m. Authorities said he was in waist-deep water when he was bitten on the hand. There was only one strike.
The man refused to be taken to a hospital and chose to seek medical attention himself.
Reed Zipperer, 18, told News 6 he was out on the water with friends on Monday afternoon.
"Went to paddle, and it just like, just bit me and I looked at it. Like three deep gashes. Like, sick, man," said Zipperer. "On the way here, we were talking like, all about sharks."
Zipperer said that after he was bitten, he got out of the water and went to a lifeguard, who wrapped his wound. He then had his friends drive him to the hospital.
"There's a lot of bait in the water. The water is super murky and like, I don't blame him. My hand probably looks yummy to them. I would do the same thing," said Zipperer.
Zipperer said he received 19 stitches but avoided any ligament tears.
"When there's good waves, there's good waves. You just got to risk it man," said Zipperer. "Hoping there's a sick scar maybe."
Coincidentally, his friend Jonathan was also with him at the time, and Jonathan had also been bitten by a shark several years ago.
"It's kind of crazy because I came back out here with my buddy Reed and it's like the same thing happened. It definitely shows how many sharks are out here," said Jonathan Wallhauser.
This is the second reported shark attack in Volusia County since Saturday, when a 49-year-old was bitten on the leg while boogie boarding.
Monday's bite is the sixth in Volusia County this year, according to ocean rescue officials.
For tips on how to stay safe in the water and avoid shark bites, click here.