Jason Hartl, 17, was surfing on the south side of the Juno Beach Pier when he was bitten on the left foot, by a shark – believed to be a black tip shark. He needed more than 50 stitches to mend the bite.
He was about 200 metres from shore when the incident happened on 23 October 2017.
The shark bit his foot and pulled him off his surfboard into the water.
“I was like paddling out and then I was just about to where I wanted to be to like catch a wave and then all of a sudden a shark came up and bit my foot,” he told the media.
He managed to get back on his board and paddle to shore.
“I felt like my whole foot was dangling,” said Hartl. “I started paddling. I didn’t want to look at it and get all panicked.”
Once on shore he collapsed after telling a boy he had been bitten by a shark. A lifeguard covered the wound until paramedics arrived and transported him to Jupiter Medical Center where his wound was stitched up.
Although he only saw the shark’s tail, he thought it could have been a black tip shark, about 3 to 4 feet long.
“I was lucky but not everyone could be as lucky as me and they could potentially lose their foot.”
He told media: “What I wish I would’ve done differently is stayed away from the pier just because I definitely think that enhanced my chances of getting bit because sharks are attracted to the bait in the water.” He said that when he was bitten about 15 people were fishing from the Juno Beach Pier, and he was 25-50 feet south of the pier when he was bitten.