COCOA BEACH, Florida – A fifteen-year-old boy was bitten by a 6-foot bull shark in the ocean off of Cocoa Beach, Florida on Saturday, May 26, 2018.
The shark bite occurred just after 5 p.m. at the beach near East Gadsden Lane which is outside of nearby lifeguard zones at the Cocoa Beach Pier to the north and Shepard Park to the south.
Cody High of San Angelo, Texas was playing in the water with his niece and nephew when he suffered the bite to his lower left calf.
Cody was then transported by Brevard County Fire Rescue to Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach and later transferred to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida.
Pictured above, Bull sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna) are responsible for most of the fatal shark attacks in Florida.
Bull sharks are common along the east coast of Florida and juvenile bull sharks frequent the coast from Palm Beach, Florida to Daytona Beach, Florida.
That’s because of the Indian River Lagoon, which extends along Florida’s east coast from southern Volusia County through Brevard County to Palm Beach County, is an important nursery habitat for baby bull sharks.
When fully grown, bull sharks reach 7 to 11 feet in length and weigh between 200 and 300 pounds.
Florida holds the dubious title of accounting for 58% of all shark attacks in the U.S. and 35% of the world’s total. Volusia County (Daytona Beach area) and Brevard County (Cocoa Beach area) on Central Florida’s east coast have the most shark attacks than any other region in the Sunshine State.
How to avoid being bitten by a shark:
In addition to spotting the telltale shark fins, fish jumping out of water or sea birds hovering at the surface of the water could indicate the presence of feeding sharks.
Always swim near a lifeguard area (their elevated position on a lifeguard tower is better for shark spotting) and pay attention to warning flags.