An Ormond Beach 17-year-old boy became the seventh person bitten by a shark in Volusia County this year.
A 17-year-old Ormond boy was bitten by a shark while surfing in New Smyrna Beach, on Saturday.
At about noon, Chase Elmore was in waist-deep water near the inlet when a shark bit his hand. Volusia County Beach safety reported Elmore suffered minor lacerations to his right hand, and that he was taken to the hospital by his parents. Due to the number of incidents like Elmore’s, New Smyrna Beach has been coined “the shark bite capital of the world.”
This is the seventh shark attack in Volusia County to date, all of which have been minor incidents. According to the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File, Volusia County accounted for 15 of the 35 unprovoked shark bites in 2016 — about 43%. While the number rose from the previous year’s count of 30 bites, it did not top the record number of unprovoked shark bites in 2000, which was 37.
The museum’s data states Volusia County has been the site for over 290 unprovoked shark bites since 1882. Brevard County and Palm Beach follow Volusia, with 134 and 70 bites respectively.
According to the Florida Museum website, while the risk for shark attacks is small, there are ways for swimmers to minimize those risks. It advices beach goers to stay in groups, stay close to sure, and avoid swimming in the dark or twilight hours when there is more shark activity — though it should be noted Elmore was bitten in the water at noon.