Florida teen punched shark after attack

Posted at 2:47 PM, Oct 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-04 17:47:58-04

A 14-year-old boy was bitten by a shark while surfing in waters off of Volusia County, Florida today, officials said, marking the 11th shark bite reported in the county this year.

The teen was in the water in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, about 15 miles south of Daytona Beach, with four other people, Volusia County Beach Safety Capt. Aaron Jenkins told ABC News.

The boy, from Vero Beach, Florida, was paddling on his surfboard when a 4- to 5-foot black-tip shark bit him once on the hand, Jenkins said.

"He kind of punched back at the shark," said Jenkins.

The boy paddled to shore and flagged down a beach safety officer, Jenkins said, and was then taken to a hospital.

"He had pretty significant lacerations to the left hand ... around the knuckle and palm of his hand," Jenkins said.

His injuries were non-life-threatening, Jenkins said, adding that there was concern "about some possible ligament damage."

The water in the area of the attack remains open, Jenkins said.

"This area, it's kind of a common area for these small sharks ... There's a lot of bait fish ... that kind of draws those sharks in," he said. "The sharks, they can't differentiate between someone's hand ... and some kind of small fish."

This is the 11th shark bite in Volusia County this year, Jenkins said.