2 Men Injured an Hour Apart in Separate Shark Attacks on Florida Coast
Two Florida beachgoers were injured in shark attacks on Saturday at separate locations along the state's east coast more than 100 miles apart.
Competitive surfer Frank O'Rourke was taking in the waves on his board near Jacksonville Beach Pier around 3:30 p.m. when a shark bit into the 23-year-old's right arm, he told WJXX.
"I felt something jump out of the water and latch onto my arm by my elbow," he recalled, noting the incident only lasted about 30 seconds. "It just grabbed onto me and thrashed in the water and swam away."
O'Rourke, who was treated at the scene and did not go to the hospital, said he sees sharks regularly at the beach, but has never been bitten.
"If it's your time, it's your time. If the [sharks] want you, they want you," he told the outlet. "You're more likely to get struck by lightning than killed by a shark. I'm going to buy a lottery ticket."
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Meanwhile, an hour later and about 110 miles south at New Smyrna Beach, 49-year-old William Angell was bitten on the right thigh while boogie boarding.
Angell, who was visiting from Arizona, was treated at the scene and later drove himself to the hospital for additional treatment, Captain Andrew Ethridge of Volusia County Beach Safety told KNXV.
Angell's injuries are not considered serious, ABC News reports.
The attacks are just the latest to hit Florida, and come weeks after a 16-year-old girl was bitten on the heel and ankle area of her foot while vacationing in Amelia Island, Florida.
Amelia Island is also on the east coast, and sits about 50 miles north of Jacksonville.
Meanwhile, in June, a Florida father taking pictures with a drone at New Smyrna Beach captured an aerial photo that showed a shark lurking close to his children and their friends as they played in the water.
As of July 24, there have been 24 reported and verified shark attacks in the U.S. this year, with eight of those occurring in Florida, according to Tracking Sharks.