A 38-year-old surfer from South Carolina experienced a shark encounter on Tuesday morning, September 12, at New Smyrna Beach, Florida. This beach is recognized for its frequent shark sightings.
The incident took place just before 8 am at the beach’s inlet, a zone infamous for its history with sharks. The victim, Mark Sumersett, was quickly transported to the Halifax Health Trauma Center after the bite, which took a chunk out of his face.
He was able to be discharged on the same day of the incident.
Ron Robinson, a seasoned surfer who was present during the episode, recounted that the shark targeted the man on the right side of his face, specifically between his ear and eye. This happened as the surfer was leaving the water after completing a wave.
Robinson noted that such events typically transpire when surfers accidentally fall into shallow areas, unintentionally startling any nearby sharks. The sharks then act out of defense.
Later that day, overhead footage depicted multiple sharks in the vicinity of the event. Despite the earlier occurrence, numerous surfers still chose to continue surfing close to the location.
The jetty at New Smyrna Beach is renowned for generating prime surfing conditions and luring schools of bait fish. These bait fish then naturally appeal to sharks. Both locals and experts concur that the majority of shark bites are cases of mistaken identity, where sharks erroneously perceive swimmers and surfers as prey.