HAULOVER BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Emergency crews rushed one man to the hospital after what officials called the first recorded shark attack to take place off Haulover Beach.
According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Sunny Isles Police spotted the marine predator too close for comfort, Sunday, at around 3 p.m.
Officials said the shark was heading closer to shore near Tower 16. “We started closing down the beach and actually bringing everybody into shore, flying double red flags in our tower,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Matthew Sparling.
But as beachgoers were evacuated, the victim was attacked.
“I thought it was just a joke,” said beachgoer Natarrio Ferguson.
Speaking with 7News in Spanish, a witness described the terrifying ordeal. “The young man got out of the water with a serious knee injury,” said Marcelo Febrino.
Officials said the swimmer suffered deep gashes. A photo sent to 7News by MDFR shows a first responder treating his injuries.
Paramedics transported the victim to Aventura Hospital. He is expected to be OK.
A Twitter user posted cellphone video of what he said was a shark sighting last weekend.
But officials indicated such incidents in general are very uncommon in this part of South Florida. “I’ve worked here 20 years, and I’ve never had one,” said Sparling. “After some research, I’ve never seen an unprovoked shark attack in Miami-Dade County. Broward’s had a few, and the state of Florida is the shark attack capital of the world, but it tends to be north in the Palm Beaches, Vero [Beach, areas like New Smyrna Beach.”
After Saturday’s attack, Ferguson said he’s going to be more careful about where he spends his time out in the sun. “The only you could do is stay on the sidelines, probably put my feet in or go to a pool,” he said. “That’s pretty much it as far as it goes with me.”
Officials said the shark in Sunday’s incident was last spotted heading south.
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