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Bull Shark Bites Diver: Riviera Beach Fire Rescue

Emergency officials said a diver was bitten by a bull shark Wednesday afternoon. 

Riviera Beach Fire Rescue said they were headed to to Sailfish Marina around 3:15 p.m. to respond to a report about a shark bite. Officials said the diver endured “significant wounds” to the arm from a bull shark that measured about 7 feet. 

The victim—who had been spearfishing about 2 miles offshore, according to WPTV—was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center. 

According to the National Wildlife Federation, bull sharks can grow to about 7 feet, while females can reach 11 feet or more. They can often be found in shallow coastal water, the organization notes. 

2015 was a record year for shark attacks, with 98 unprovoked incidents reported worldwide. Florida saw 30 of those attacks, with two reported in Palm Beach County. 

Experts say the increase in attacks is likely due to both shark and human population growth. They note that while the number of incidents is up, the number of fatalities (six) is still in tune with the average in past years. 

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Clarification: While emergency officials responded to the call at Sailfish Marina, the incident occurred when the victim was spearfishing 2 miles offshore. The headline and post has been edited to make that more clear.