A father was bitten by a shark while playing in just two feet of water with his eight-year-old son at a Florida beach.
Dustin Theobald, 30, and his son Emerson had been surfing at Fernandina Beach on Friday afternoon when the shark latched onto his foot, leaving him with several four-inch lacerations and puncture wounds.
Just five minutes later a 17-year-old beachgoer was bitten by a shark a mile south of the first attack.
Dustin Theobald, 30, was surfing with his eight-year-old son at Fernandina Beach in Florida Friday afternoon when a shark latched onto his foot
Theobald was left with several four-inch lacerations, puncture wounds and possible tendon damage. A witness said they could see Theobald’s bone when he came out of the water
Theobald and his son Emerson had been standing in water less than two-feet deep
‘I was in 2 feet of water, or less, lying on my stomach, watching him just playing in the surf and I felt something grab onto my foot and pull,’ Theobald told News4Jax from his hospital bed on Friday evening.
‘I reached down for my foot. I put my hand on his head – he was probably four to five feet [long] – and when I did that, he shook twice and when I did that he released and left.’
Theobald said he believes his attacker was either a nurse shark or black tip shark.
A witness described the moments after the attack, saying the 30-year-old struggled to hobble to the lifeguard stand for help.
‘There was no one besides him and myself over in that general direction. He yelled and he went down and he was kind of hopping and he looked over at me and goes “I got bit, I got bit! Get out!” and motioned towards the beach,’ they told First Coast News.
‘You could see bone on the top and on the bottom,’ the witness said.
Theobald said he didn’t start to feel pain in the attack until he got to the hospital.
‘It looks like I might have some tendon damage,’ he said. ‘But it’s cut, it’s bad. It’s 4-inch lacerations on the top and bottom.’
Minutes later Fernandina Beach police received a call about a 17-year-old who had been bitten on the foot while wading in shallow water just over a mile away from the first incident.
Both victims are recovering in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
A GoFundMe page has raised more than $1,000 for Theobald’s recovery as of Sunday afternoon.
Just five minutes after Theobald was attacked, a 17-year-old was also bitten on the foot about a mile away. The beach was closed shortly after but reopened on Sunday morning
Witnesses on the beach north of Jacksonville told rescue crews they had seen fins in the water.
The beach was shut down directly after the attacks but reopened on Sunday morning.
The rare double-bite came after several years without shark attacks at the beach, authorities say.
‘The last time we had one was about two or three years ago. We haven’t had any shark bites in quite some time,’ Fire Chief Ty Silcox told Jacksonville.com.
In 2016, a total of 32 shark attacks were reported in Florida.
From 2007 to 2016, a total of 243 attacks were reported including one fatality, according to the Florida Museum International Shark Attack File.
Theobald said his attacker was possibly either a black fin shark (left) or nurse shark (right)