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Shark bites man swimming off Haulover Beach

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue lieutenant says shark attack first for county

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HAULOVER BEACH, Fla. – A beachgoer was bitten by a shark Sunday afternoon at Haulover Beach, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Erika Benitez said.

Lifeguards said they became aware of a shark lurking in the water and immediately began blowing their whistles, gesturing for swimmers to get out of the water.

As people were getting out of the water, a man was bitten on the legs by what appeared to be a 4- to 5-foot bull shark, Benitez said.

"It started getting closer to the people at the sandbar and they tried to get out," witness Donovan Cecil told Local 10 News. "One guy, it went straight towards him and bit his leg, pulled him, gave him a little tug, and I was freaking out."

The victim was able to get out of the water. He was helped by lifeguards and taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"It could have been a lot worse," Cecil said.

A photograph taken by a witness showed Miami-Dade Fire Rescue treating the man.

"It's extremely rare," Lt. Matthew Sparling said. "This is the first shark attack in Miami-Dade County that I've been aware of working 20 years in ocean rescue."

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.