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03/12/2023 Matthew Picarelli St. Lucie County Florida

2023 Shark Attacks the Latest Shark Attacks and Shark Attack Related Incidents which include Fatal Attacks to minor injuries bites and attacks where the person fought an aggressive shark.
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03/12/2023 Matthew Picarelli St. Lucie County Florida

Post by alb »

‘Count his toes’: Man says he was bitten by shark off Florida beach: report

A Florida man says he was bitten by a shark while body surfing off a Florida East Coast beach on Sunday.

Matthew Picarelli, of Stuart, was in the waves off Pepper Park Beach in St. Lucie County when he felt pain on his right foot while around 40 to 50 feet out from shore, according to a report from TCPalm. com.

The newspaper said Picarelli saw the fin and tail of what was likely a shark describing the pain as if a “car hit me with a machete blade at the end of it.” He said the incident was over in less than a minute, after which he told his friend Natalie Bella to help him out of the water.

“My first reaction was ... count his toes,” she told the newspaper as he was assisted by lifeguards on the beach.

Beachgoers told the bite victim they thought it was a 4- to 5-foot spinner shark, TCPalm reported.

The newspaper said Picarelli was transported by a friend to area hospital, and the bite left on of his tendons broken and chipped a bone, requiring surgery and 50 stitches.

Florida often leads the world in unprovoked shark attacks, with the majority on the East Coast, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File. In 2022, the state had 16 of 57 recorded attacks.

Volusia County usually leads the way in the state with many happening near Ponce Inlet where surfers and turbid water often mix. The county had seven in 2022, down from its five-year average of nine. It has 17 in 2021 and has hit double digits three times in the last 15 years earning it the moniker “Shark Bite Capital of the World.”

After Volusia, there were four bites in 2022 in Monroe County and single incidents reported in Martin, Nassau, Pinellas, Brevard and Palm Beach counties.

Not one of Florida’s 2022 incidents was fatal. Of the 41 U.S. incidents, only one was fatal, and that was in Hawaii.

From 1882-present, the shark attack file has documented 343 cases in Volusia with 156 in Brevard County to the south followed by 82 in Palm Beach County, 46 in Duval, 45 in St. Johns, 41 in Martin, 37 in St. Lucie, 22 in Indian River, 21 in Monroe and 19 in Miami-Dade counties, all from the Keys up the East Coast to Jacksonville.

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