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Diver Attacked By Bull Shark Off Riviera Beach

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RIVIERA BEACH (CBSMiami) -- A shark attack in Palm Beach County has left a man with significant injuries.

A boat came rushing in Wednesday afternoon at the Sailfish Marina in Palm Beach Shores.

The emergency?

Rescuers said a diver was bit by a 7-foot long bull shark while spearfishing out in the ocean.

"The guy was laying on the floor and he was bleeding from the shoulder," said one man who saw the diver being taken off the boat.

"He was definitely awake," said Megan Johnson, manager at the Sailfish Marina. "He was talking to the EMT officer but he definitely was in a lot of pain."

Witnesses said paramedics quickly whisked the man to a nearby hospital and the victim had quite a story to tell.

Riviera Beach Fire Rescue crews said a shark saw blood in the water from a fish the victim speared and that shark likely came to eat.

"(The victim) hit the bull shark on the nose with his spearfish and he really became aggressive and attacked him on his right arm," said Stephen Watson, with Riviera Beach Fire Rescue.

Bull sharks are the most dangerous sharks on planet. They have more testosterone than any other animal and shark experts say spearfishing is an extremely dangerous activity because once a fish like a cobia is bleeding the sharks sense what's happening and follow the blood.

"If you're spearfishing for fish, you're basically ringing the dinner bell," said FAU Professor Dr. Stephen Kajiura. "The combination of these stimuli is really a signal, a trigger for the sharks and they say, 'Ah, something's happening. Let's go and investigate."

CBS4 reached out to the victim's friend to get an update on his condition or to get his name, but the friend said the victim did not want any information released.

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