Tourist bitten by shark at New Smyrna Beach on Fourth of July

An Ohio man was bitten by a shark at New Smyrna Beach on Thursday, officials said. 

The incident happened around 4 p.m. Thursday near Flagler Avenue. 

The 21-year-old was playing football in knee-deep water when the shark bit him on his right foot.

The man suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.  

4 shark bites in 6 days bolster Volusia County's status as 'shark bite capital of the world'

"We were actually about 4-5 tents down from where it happened," said Kristin Mazza.

Mazza, who lives in Mount Dora, said after they heard the ruckus, her husband ran over to see what was going on.

"He had a pretty bad cut, but it was looking like it was not life-threatening – thank God," Mazza said. "[He had a] gash to the foot, lots of blood."

Orlando resident, John Grindle, was sitting just behind the victim and his friends. Grindle said he saw them head out to the water. Then, minutes later… 

"The lady came screaming in, ‘we need help, I need help,’ the man was limping in, and fell in the shallow water. Next thing you know, paramedics were coming up to him," Gindle said. "He was kind of like in shock – not passed out – but laying. You could tell he was in pain. You could see the blood coming off of the sand."

Lifeguards tended to him before paramedics arrived and loaded him into an ambulance.

Maureen Reyes said the city lived up to its name on July 4th.

"Shark bite capital of the world," Reyes said. "Whoever got bit – I hope you’re okay!"

A New Smyrna Beach resident, Reyes, said she wasn’t shocked to hear about the attack, but was surprised to hear the location.

"My husband and I have seen sharks coming out of the water here – looked like they were playing but they didn’t bite anyone," said Reyes. "Most of the time, when people get bit by sharks in New Smyrna, they’re in the inlet and the sharks are following the boats in, the fishing boats," Reyes said.

Other beachgoers are now on edge for the holiday weekend.

"We as people have to be careful. This is the ocean, you know? And sharks belong here in the ocean," said Wanda Rusinow. "We have to be very careful when we go to the water."

Thursday proved a very busy day for beach patrol and lifeguards. In addition to responding to the shark attack, they also made 180 rescues.