Florida spearfisherman survives bull shark attack: ‘He wanted me’

A 20-year-old spearfisherman detailed his encounter with a bull shark in the Florida Keys last week as he recovers in a hospital from bite wounds to his leg.


The bull shark, as much as 10 feet long and weighing 500 pounds, "came out of nowhere" and chomped down on his leg twice while he was diving about 70 feet underwater, Kevin Blanco told WSVN-TV from his bed at Jackson South Medical Center in Miami.

"I’ve been in that same situation a lot of times, and they are usually afraid of us," Blanco said. "That one was not afraid of us. He wanted me. It was a scary event."

Kevin Blanco, 20, estimated that the bull shark was about 10 feet long and weighed 500 pounds. He said he encountered the shark about 70 feet underwater. (WSVN)

The shark attacked around 3 p.m. Thursday off the coast of Marathon, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. The victim was brought to shore by a private boat, and a medical helicopter landed on the Seven Mile Bridge to airlift him to the hospital.

I’ve been in the water a very long time. I’ve never seen a shark act like this," Blanco said.

Doctors are working to keep Blanco’s wounds free from infection. He is expected to be released in less than a week.

Less than 36 hours after Blanco’s shark encounter, another shark bit a 35-year-old fisherman on the foot in Summerland Key, the sheriff’s office said.

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Kevin Blanco said the shark bit his leg twice before swimming away. (WSVN)

The fisherman had reeled in the shark while fishing off a dock on Saturday. The shark was on the dock when it bit the man, the release said.

The man was also taken to by a trauma helicopter to a hospital in Miami. No update on his condition was immediately available.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.