A teen in New Smyrna Beach was hospitalized Thursday after a shark tore into his foot and leg, leaving broken teeth in the swimmer’s wound, according to a report by FLORIDA TODAY news partner WKMG Local 6 News.
Doctors said the shark’s teeth sunk in inches from Joey Giangrasso’s major artery as he swam in waist-deep water near the south jetty in New Smyrna Beach.
“One of the nurses said it’s the worst (bite) she has seen since she started working at the hospital, victim’s mother, Laurie Giangrasso, said.
The shark refused to let go of Giangrasso’s leg until he started to beat it away.
“He didn’t see it until the shark was on his foot,” Giangrasso said. “When he turned and saw this massive body, he tried to hit it and get it off his foot. Because when the shark had his foot, he was shaking the foot. You can tell that because of where the bites are.”
The teen was taken to Bert Fish Medical Center were he received dozens of stitches, Local 6 reported.
The bite is the fourth confirmed bite of the year and the third in 10 days, Beach Patrol representative Scott Petersohn told the Daytona Beach News Journal.
It puts Volusia County on track to match one of its worst shark bite years ever.
In 2001, there were eight shark bites in Volusia County during April.
Many people don’t think about shark bites when they’re wading in the ocean. After all, they’re just wading along the shore. Large sharks can, and do, swim and hunt for prey in waist-deep (or even shallower) water. My son’s girlfriend was bitten on the foot last year while swimming, but the shark decided that she wasn’t all that tasty and spit her foot out.