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Shark attack: 7-year-old boy bitten at Florida beach

Shark attack alert: A 7-year-old boy was bitten by a shark off the Florida coast this week
Shark attack alert: A 7-year-old boy was bitten by a shark off the Florida coast this week
Timo Newton-Syms, Creative Commons

A 7-year-old boy was swimming through the surf at a beach near Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, Florida, when he was supposedly bitten by a shark. The possible shark attack occurred at Tables Beach, the Orlando Sentinel reported August 2.

According to local officials, the boy, whose name has not been released to the public, was swimming with his father around 1 p.m. in the afternoon when he received a bite to his ankle. The lacerations to his ankle were consistent with the marks of a shark bite, the Patrick Air Force Base Fire Department said, according to WFTV in Orlando.

The boy suffered a non-life-threatening injury, according to officials. He was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The initial reaction to the boy being bitten was panic...

"Well, I saw everybody running out of the water, and the dad was holding the boy," one young witness told WKMG in Orlando. "And the dad had his blood all over him."

Witnesses also told the station that paramedics arrived on scene fairly quickly. The boy was a bit scared, according to onlookers, but he seemed to be otherwise alright. Some said they were holding the 7-year-old's foot as if it might have been severed, although the station admitted that they had as yet to confirm whether or not the injury was actually that extensive.

The type of shark that made the attack is unknown.

According to the International Shark Attack File compiled by the Florida Museum of Natural History, Brevard County recorded just three of Florida's 23 shark attacks in 2013. Florida itself recorded 49 percent of all the shark attacks reported in the United States in 2013.

The Florida shark attack came a day after a 20-year-old surfer was hurled 3 meters (10 feet) into the air and bitten by a Great White shark off Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, according to witnesses. Independent Online reported that the surfer, who was protected by the board on the initial lunge by the shark, apparently bit the young man after he fell back into the water. Other surfers rushed to the man's aid as he made his way back to his board. Badly banged up and shaken, he was rushed to a hospital, where he was placed in the Intensive Care Unit.

Not to minimize the danger or belittle injuries sustained, but the annual week-long programming of all things shark on the Discovery Channel, "Shark Week 2014," is set to hit the airwaves in a week (starts Aug. 10), giving one pause to wonder if the event could get any better advance publicity. It also makes one wonder why, with all the real shark attacks occurring around the world, promoters would bother to even use faux shark news and/or video footage to get people to watch.

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