Expert expects more sharks off Northeast Florida beaches this summer

By: Deanna Bettineschi

Updated:

Shark expert Dr. Jim Gelsleichter predicts more sharks off the Florida coast as summer approaches.

“It’s a period of time when sharks move inshore from offshore locations,” Gelsleichter said. “They move to the north from southern locations where they are in the winter.”

A surfer from Atlantic Beach was bitten on the ankle while surfing this weekend in New Smyrna Beach.

“Three seconds after it bit me the first time, it bit me again, and I knew it was a shark, it hurt so bad,” surfer Kelton Beardall said.

Gelsleichter said in the county in which Beardall was bitten is known for shark attacks

“The area of Volusia County is considered to be the shark attack capital of Florida,” Gelsleichter said.

Shark attacks have also been reported in northeast Florida, which had six attacks last year between Fernandina Beach and St. Johns County.

Gelslechter said that although shark bites increase during the summer, they’re not as common as one might think.

Beardall said he’s willing to take his chances and will return to the water in two months, when he’s healed.

Shark experts say it’s rare for someone to die from a shark attack.


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