Shark attack confirmed on Marco Island; rare in SWFL

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – People are fascinated with sharks.

In just the past few weeks, videos have been flooding into the WINK Newsroom of shark sightings across the area.

Now, WINK News confirms a 63-year-old man was bitten by a shark on Resident’s Beach Sunday afternoon.

He was only wading in 2 feet of water when a 3 to 4 foot shark bit him on his calf.

“They usually don’t come in that close, but you’ve got to be aware,” said beachgoer, Jackie Genin.

The victim, from Germany, was transported to Physician’s Regional Medical Center on Collier Boulevard.  A woman who was sitting on the beach called 911.

“He was with a woman in the water,” said the caller. “The next thing I know, they came off the beach and I saw blood and I called 911.”

Doctors stitched up the man’s wound and released him from the hospital. Despite this weekend’s incident, shark attacks are extremely rare in Southwest Florida.

Since 1882, there have only been seven attacks in Collier and Lee Counties and one attack in Charlotte County. Volusia County on the state’s east coast had 267 attacks over the same time.

The Director for the Florida Program for Shark Research at the University of Florida tells WINK News it’s all about how many people go into the water to swim.

“There aren’t as many people going into the water in Marco Island as there is in Daytona Beach,” said Director, George Burgess. “So you would expect more incidents to occur in Daytona Beach.”

Burgess says we may never know what type of shark it was because they need a tooth to identify it, but there was not one left in the victim.

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