Shark Versus Surfer in Volusia County

posted by Alan McBride - 

Authorities in Volusia County say a teenage surfer got bitten by a shark along a Volusia County beach Wednesday.

According to beach safety officials, the surfer, who was age 14, was paddling in chest-deep water in New Smyrna Beach when the incident happened. 

Officials say the surfer was dealt a minor cut by the shark, which then beat a hasty retreat.

Volusia County has historically been a hot-spot for shark-bite episodes along the Florida coast, and New Smyrna Beach has traditionally racked up the greatest number of shark bites for that county.

Officials say the waters tend to be favorable for surfers, but those same conditions lead to poor visibility for the sea life ... which includes sharks.

But the majority of shark encounters are described as being on a par with dog bites, quick hit-and-run affairs.

Shark experts say the reason sharks basically "tag" surfers or swimmers rather than leave them alone is because of mistaken identity.

Under the poor conditions, a shark will sense a swimming human as a fish. 

A quick bite will let the shark know that it got things wrong, and the shark then tends to swim away.

Shark experts say that humans also taste terrible to sharks; another reason why sharks tend to avoid people unless there are confusing conditions.

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