Shark attacks woman off Brevard coast

Woman taken to hospital after 'chunk' taken out of leg

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. - A 38-year-old woman on a family trip to the beach was attacked by a shark Thursday morning off Brevard County.

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Brevard Ocean Rescue officials say the attack happened near Ponce de Leon Park on Melbourne Beach.

"Typically you'll see fish jumping out of the water, birds chasing after the fish.. it was just out of nowhere, bam," said Rick Tatsch, the victim's brother.

Tatsch said he was body boarding with his 38-year-old sister while her two children played in the sand with family members when she had a "chunk" taken out of her calf. 

"She looked OK, she was fading in and out a little bit because when you're losing a lot of blood like that you seem to feel a little faint at that time," he said. "It's kind of a shocking thing for an individual."

The woman, who lives in Indian Harbour Beach, was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, and her brother said she was in good spirits.

"You always expect it, you always hear that you have a better chance to get struck by lightning or winning the lottery and go figure it's the shark bite that comes first, but I was telling her, 'maybe we can win the lotto tonight,'" said Tatsch.

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There are no lifeguards in the area where the shark attack occurred and Tatsch said his family and other beachgoers brought her to shore.

It's not known what type of shark attacked the woman. 

A 2,300-pound great white shark tracked by research group Ocearch pinged off the Brevard Coast earlier in the week, but the group's website showed the great white near South Florida on Thursday.

Named Katharine, the 14-foot shark was just six miles off the coast of Sebastian Inlet on Monday night.

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