A swimmer in the Gulf was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then came the shark
A state park in northwest Florida on the Gulf was on high alert Thursday after a swimmer was bitten by a shark.
According to a Tweet from South Walton Fire District, an emergency crew was summoned to Grayton Beach State Park in Seaside sometime in the afternoon after calls came in about the attack.
The victim was a “young adult” who was apparently in the wrong place at the wrong time, said the post.
“First contact with the victim points to this incident being a case of ‘mistaken identity’ as they were swimming near a fishing line when bitten,” the department said.
The victim is in stable condition and expected to recover, but suffered a bite wound to the “upper body.”
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office followed up with more information, saying in a release that the victim was a 14-year-old.
“The juvenile was assessed on scene for a superficial bite wound and was transported to a local hospital. It seems the shark did not latch on once figuring out it was biting a human,” said the post.
The agency says the swimmer was about approximately 40 yards from shore near the fishing line, when the approximately seven foot long shark approached, heading for the line, and mistakenly bit the swimmer.
The sheriff’s office stressed that the post was “not to create fear or wreak havoc.”
“Sharks live in the water. That is their home. We’re making the public aware so that they may use caution when swimming in the water… where sharks live.”
Double red flags were temporarily flying to advise against swimming in the Gulf, but were removed after a drone unit was unable to identify any sharks in the area.
Another tweet from South Walton Fire District doubled down on warning people to use caution when taking a dip: “We would like to remind the public that the Gulf of Mexico is home to dangerous marine life year-round.”