Another shark attack off the coast of Florida has people nervous about the last few weeks of summer vacation. In reality, shark attacks are extremely rare with last year seeing 137 alleged shark attacks with 73 unprovoked bites on humans. When you compare that to the millions of beach goers every year…around the world, you can tell how rare it is. However when sharks do attack it can be fatal or cause serious injuries. Florida does top the list created by the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum with the most shark attacks in the world last year at 28 unprovoked. Let’s see how that compares to this year. Here is a complete list of shark attacks in Florida so far in 2022.
In January the first shark attack of the year in Florida occurred on January 22, off the largest island in the Dry Tortuga’s, Loggerhead Key.
1) Heather West, 42-year-old, 1/22/22
West was snorkeling at the Little Africa Reef with friends near an uninhabited island when she was bitten by a 6-foot-long lemon shark. The shark grabbed her foot and held on, but Heather fought back and was able to escape. Ligaments and tendons in her foot were damaged due to the bite wound and she was taken to the hospital for treatment. Lemon sharks are not typically dangerous and only account for 10 unprovoked attacks over the years the ISAF has been keeping records. They can get to be 8-10 feet long so they are a medium-sized shark.
There was only one shark attack in Florida in February, this time it was at Cocoa Beach on the east coast of Florida.
2) Gene Menchara-Lopez, 18-year-old, 2/11/22
Lifeguards called 911 when they saw Menchara-Lopez yelling in the water. A shark had bit his foot and medics were able to treat the wound on shore. He was taken to the hospital but he didn’t think he needed further help. It is unknown what kind of shark it was.
March is when Spring Break is and the weather starts to warm along the coasts of Florida. With an increase number of beach goers there is always an increased risk for accidents. There were four shark attacks in Florida in March 2022. The first three were all at New Smyrna Beach!
3) Male, 21-year-old, 3/9/22
New Smyrna Beach, fishing, Blacktip shark
4) Male, 20-year-old, 3/13/22
New Smyrna Beach, swimming
5) Eric String, 20-year-old, 3/19/22
New Smyrna Beach, surfing
6) Male, 50-year-old, 3/31/22
Lake Worth Beach, Palm Beach County, fishing
There were only two attacks in April, one at Highland Beach in Palm Beach County and one in the Keys at Whale Harbor.
7) Male, teenager, 4/11/22
Highland Beach, Palm Beach County, swimming
8) Male, 56-year-old, 4/17/22
An unidentified 56-year-old was bitten on his lower leg while swimming off a sandbar in Whale Harbor near Windley Key. He was able to alert a passing Coast Guard Ship that rescued him and brought him to shore where medical professionals were waiting. They quickly tended to the 8-inch gash on his leg.
May 0 Shark Attacks in Florida
In June there was a senior woman attacked by a bull shark at Redington Shores Beach and there were 2 separate attacks in the keys, both to women. The second attack was very serious requiring multiple surgeries, but the victim was expected make a full recovery.
9) Woman, senior, 6/23/22
Redington Shores Beach, wading, bull shark
10) Addison Bethea, 17-year-old, 6/29/22
Keaton Beach, near Grassy Island, looking for scallops, bull shark
11) Lindsey Bruns, 35-year-old, 6/29/22
Lindsey is the victim that suffered a severe bite to her leg while she was swimming with her family at Sawyer Beach. She was swimming off the side of the boat when she was bitten in the leg. Her husband was able to get her back into the boat, apply pressure to the wound and drive the boat 20 minutes to shore. The medical team had to give her a blood transfusion on the way to the hospital due to blood loss. Bruns had to have several surgeries over the next couple of days to repair the battered leg. After a week she was sent home and expected to recover. What a scary incident!
Whoa, July had the most shark attacks in Florida so far for 2022. There were 7 different attacks, but the good news is most of them were minor attacks, some only requiring basic first aid. The first two were at New Smyrna Beach again. Either there is one aggressive shark at that beach making multiple attacks or it is an unlucky year for New Smyrna beach-goers. Here is the list:
12) Male, 28-year-old, 7/3/22
New Smyrna Beach, swimming
13) Male, 30-year-old, 7/10/22
New Smyrna Beach, surfing
14) Tasa Summers, 40-year-old, 7/16/22
Daytona Beach, wading
15) Male, 7/17/2022
Florida Keys, fishing, lemon shark
16) Male, 33-year-old, 7/25/2022
Daytona Beach, standing in waist deep water
17) Fischer Hricko, 13-year-old, 7/27/2022
Florida Keys, swimming, nurse shark
18) Male, 7/30/2022
There has only been one shark attack in Florida in August so far (as of August 17) but it is a tragic incident. Here is the story:
19) Jameson Reeder Jr., 10-year-old, 8/13/2022
According to CNN, Jameson was snorkeling in the Florida Keys with his parents and sibling when a shark thrashed at him biting his leg right below the knee. He clung to a floating noodle while his parents pulled him into the boat and immediately applied a tourniquet to the leg. They flagged down another boat that was able to speed him to shore where medical team was waiting. They airlifted him to the children’s hospital in Miami. The good news is the boy survived but his Uncle updated everyone on Facebook stating that the doctors had to amputate Jameson’s leg below the knee to save his life. The family thinks it was a bull shark that bit the boy. Bull sharks are the third most common shark involved in shark attacks including 26 unprovoked fatal attacks. Luckily there have not been any fatal attacks in Florida so far in 2022 and as summer winds down hopefully the number of shark attacks will taper off as well.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock.com
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- (1970) • https://a-z-animals.com/blog/florida-shark-attacks-in-2022-the-complete-list/
- , Available here: https://www.trackingsharks.com/2022-shark-attack-list/
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- , Available here: https://www.nps.gov/drto/planyourvisit/loggerhead-key.htm
- , Available here: https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/16/us/florida-keys-shark-attack-boy/index.html#