|Life guards flew “no swimming” double red flags at a Cocoa Beach lifeguard stand at Shepard Park after a shark was spotted Sunday afternoon. Photo Credit: Brevard Times |
COCOA BEACH, Florida – Swimmers were temporarily ordered out of the Atlantic Ocean by Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards along a stretch of beach Sunday afternoon in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
The shark sighting occurred at Shepard Park and the beaches south of State Road 520 around 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, August 16, 2015. A fter about thirty minutes, beachgoers were allowed back into the water.
There have been several shark sightings that have closed beaches off of Cocoa Beach and shark attacks this year. According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) 2014 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary, Florida ranks #1 in the number of unprovoked shark bites. Within the Sunshine State, Volusia County ranks number 1 and Brevard County, which covers Cocoa Beach, ranks number 2.
Bull, black tip, and spinner sharks around 3-5 feet long have either been spotted or caught near-shore during the 2015 summer off of Cocoa Beach, along with smaller Bonnethead sharks which resemble Hammerhead sharks.
Signs of sharks in the water: 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. Swim near a lifeguard area (their elevated position on a lifeguard tower is better for shark spotting) and pay attention to warning flags.