Flags up to warn Volusia County beachgoers of sharks

Large pools of bait fish may attrack sharks, Ocean Rescue officials say

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Volusia County officials raised purple flags all along the coastline Thursday as large pools of bait fish swam close to shore.

They feared the fish may attract sharks to the area, which is still teeming with beach-goers.

"The purple flags usually mean to beware of man-of-wars and stingrays," Capt. Tammy Marris of Volusia Beach Safety Ocean Rescue said.  "This time it's sharks."

The shark warning comes just days after a Volusia County teenager was bitten in the shoulder by a shark.  He was treated and is back in school, where he's sitting on the sidelines of the high school football field.

Some beach-goers in Daytona Beach refused to go in the water on Thursday, fearing another attack.  Others just kept a close watch, even though they were wading through the fish the sharks feed on.

Mary Wright brought her grandchildren to the beach to cool off but took them out of the water when she found out what the purple flag meant.

"we went in for a few minutes, and I overheard the lady saying something about a shark attack," she said. "With the little ones, we got right out. We're not going back in." 

Others just kept a close watch even though they were wading through the fish the sharks feed on.

Marris didn't know how long the purple flags would be up.

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