FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH, Florida – A 12-year-old Canadian boy was bitten on his foot by a shark around 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, while swimming in the ocean near the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida.
Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue lifeguards were training nearby when the boy started screaming from the water.
Florida Shark Attacks By Month
Historically, Florida has the most shark attacks in August and September coinciding with increased shark and human activity when the ocean water temperature is warmest and bait fish are migrating along Florida’s east coast.
Florida Shark Attack Species
Although the species of sharks were not positively identified in any of the Florida shark bites, three shark species are responsible for the majority of attacks around the Sunshine State, according to the International Shark Attack File.
Blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) are the number one species responsible for biting humans along the U.S. East Coast. This shark has black tips on its pectoral fins and grows to no more than about six feet.
Blacktip sharks can swim in just inches of water where toddlers often play. Blacktip bites are mostly non-fatal.
Bull sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna) are responsible for most of the fatal shark attacks in Florida. They 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 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.
Spinner sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna) can grow up to 9 feet long and have a unique feeding technique of leaping into the air while spinning.