JENSEN BEACH, Fla. – A nurse shark lived up to its name this weekend when it latched onto a man’s arm at a Florida beach and refused to let go.
CBS 12 reports it happened in Jensen Beach over the weekend and that Martin County Fire responded and eventually got the shark to release its jaw. At that point, it was put back into the water.
A five-minute video posted on Facebook Monday shows the man was surprisingly calm during the encounter and kept the small shark almost cradled in the crook of his arm.
According to Jeremy Porter, who filmed the video, the man’s friend bet him $100 that he wouldn’t touch or grab the shark.
“He grabbed it and the nurse shark grabbed him back,” Porter said in a Facebook message.
A crowd of spectators gathered to watch the unusual sight.
“He’s going to be all over Facebook tonight, he’s gonna be famous,” one woman said.
“You were supposed to catch the shark, not the other way around,” another man quipped.
In the video, first responders are seen pouring alcohol into the creature’s mouth to try to get it to let go. An onlooker suggested punching the predator on its nose, but that was never done.
The man also joked and laughed with bystanders during the incident. He said the shark’s mouth felt like sandpaper and didn’t hurt.
Porter said it took about 20 minutes before the shark let go and was released back into the water, although he didn’t see the aftermath of the bite.
During a 2016 interview with The Palm Beach Post after a similar incident in Boca Raton, George Burgess, the director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, said though nurse sharks appear gentle and swimmers are often tempted to touch them or interact with them, beachgoers should leave them alone.
“People are playing with fire,” he told the newspaper. “They’re docile and make easy marks for people who want to treat them like a dog. But, if they get pissed off, they’ll bite. And, many times, they won’t let go.”