Shark Bites Boy, Boy Punches Shark

There have been a string of attacks in Florida lately
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 22, 2015 10:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 12-year-old boy is recovering in a hospital after police say he was bitten by a shark in the waters off northeast Florida. Police say the boy, who lives in Sparks, Ga., suffered significant injuries to his leg after the attack Sunday afternoon at Fernandina Beach. Police say Josh Bitner Jr. was in waist-deep water when he felt the bite near his knee. Josh told the Florida Times-Union something grabbed his leg, turned him around, and bit him again. "I grabbed its top fin and lifted it out of the water and punched it," says the boy. "It was just instinct. If something is turning me around and hurting me, then I'm going to punch it."

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Josh says he started yelling "shark!" but his father thought he was joking. "I pushed myself out of the water until people saw I was split open, then they lifted me out of the water." Josh was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to a hospital in Jacksonville for treatment. He's in good condition. A shark expert says this time of year is particularly dangerous because of the presence of baitfish in local waters. (Read more shark attack stories.)

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