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Back-to-back shark attacks in Florida Keys raise concerns, shark expert speaks out

Shark expert speaks after two shark attacks occur within two days apart
Shark expert speaks after two shark attacks occur within two days apart 02:33

MIAMI -- Back-to-back shark attacks in the Florida Keys are causing serious concerns for some South Florida residents. Two men were attacked by sharks in the Florida Keys in two separate incidents.

The most recent shark attack happened on Friday night around 8 p.m. when a 35-year-old man was reported bitten in the foot while fishing on a dock in Summerland Cave.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the shark was out of the water when it attacked him.

Just a day before, a shark bit 20-year-old Kevin Blanco off the coast of Marathon. Blanco was deep-sea spearfishing with friends on Thursday when a massive bull shark charged at him, biting him twice on his left leg.

"I don't really remember the pain, but I remember the pressure and the force with which he hit my leg. It felt like I got hit by an F-150, and the pressure of slowly closing on my leg, everything was going in slow motion," said Blanco.

Both victims were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where they are recovering.

CBS Miami's Anna McAllister speaks with shark expert Catherine Macdonald, Director of the Shark Research and Conservation Program at the University of Miami, on why this may be happening.

"When people are fishing, spearfishing, catching sharks, handling sharks, or killing fish in ways that attract sharks, it doesn't shock me," Macdonald said.

Macdonald says she doesn't believe sharks are becoming more aggressive but says in both of these incidents, the sharks were likely attracted to the bleeding fish.

"You want to limit the amount of blood you're creating in the water, you want to limit the amount of struggle that the fish is engaged in, and you want to keep that fish away from yourself," Macdonald said.

If you're not an active fisherman and want to take a dip in the ocean, shark expert Catherine Macdonald offers these safety tips.

"Try to swim near other people in relatively shallow, clear water, and at times of day when sharks may not be actively hunting. We know that at least some species tend to be most active at dawn and dusk."

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