beach, shark attack sign, waves, ocean
Photo by Lubo Minar

Volusia County, Florida, is nicknamed “the shark bite capital of the world.” It is really no surprise when a story surfaces of a shark attack in its waters. Nineteen-year-old Mathew Cornell was this year’s first victim of a shark attack.

Standing in waist-deep water at New Smyrna Beach, Cornell felt something bite down on his right calf. Capt. Andrew Ethridge, of Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal: “Cornell got out of the water and was treated for lacerations at the beach. He then drove himself to a hospital to have his wound stitched. He’s expected to make a full recovery.”

The attack occurred around 7:30 p.m. It was unknown what kind of shark bit the man. However, Surf instructor Drake Hickman told the press sharks enter the shallow waters to feed at night. “They bite it and they let go. You don’t want to be out there by yourself at night,” he warned.

Shark Attack Capital

Volusia County is known as a hotspot for shark bites. The county has led the world in recorded shark attacks over the past several years, hitting an all-time high of 15 shark attacks in 2016. It kept up the title as the “the shark bite capital of the world.” with nine bites in 2017 and again with four last year.

Surfers a Factor

Of the 81 bites recorded since 2009, surfers accounted for 52 of the victims. Because New Smyrna Beach has a reputation as a great surfing location, it attracts a lot of surfers.

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