Surfer Bitten By Shark At Cocoa Beach Pier

COCOA BEACH, Florida – A man was bitten by a shark while surfing in the Atlantic Ocean near the Cocoa Beach Pier just after 12 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

The surfer suffered a non-life-threatening laceration to his left foot and was transported by Brevard County Fire Rescue to Cape Canaveral Hospital.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards flew double-red flags and ordered swimmers out of the water along the nearby stretch of beach for about 30 minutes after the shark bite.

Although the species of shark was not positively identified, 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.

Shark Attacks Highest In East Central Florida
Florida Shark Attacks By County. Credit: International Shark Attack File.

Volusia County (Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach area) has the highest number of shark attacks in Florida followed by neighboring Brevard County (Cocoa Beach area).

Historically, the two counties account for nearly half of all shark attacks in Florida each year.

Florida Shark Attacks By Month
Florida Shark Attacks By Month
Florida Shark Attacks By Month. Credit: International Shark Attack File.

Historically, Florida has the most shark attacks in July, August, September, and October coinciding with increased shark and human activity when the ocean water temperature is warmest.

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.

Swim during the middle of the day. Shark feeding increases from the late afternoon through overnight into the early morning hours.