‘It was so fast:’ Shark bites teen during family lobstering trip to Keys

Fischer Hricko had to get 10 stitches on his upper lip

Oviedo 13-year-old attacked by nurse shark in Florida Keys

OVIEDO, Fla. – Fischer Hricko, 13, of Oviedo, and his family went on vacation Wednesday to the Florida Keys — where he suffered an unexpected shark bite while lobstering.

Bringing their boat down during lobster season is a family tradition, but this year, the family had an unexpected experience.

While in the water to capture a lobster, Fischer told WKMG, Local 10′s news partner in Orlando, he was attacked by a nurse shark — a species usually known to be docile.

“It was scary, like, I tried getting away, but it was so fast,” Fischer Hricko said.

He said he grabbed the shark and pulled it from his face.

“Then I just swam as fast as I could back to the boat, screaming,” Fischer Hricko said.

His dad, Kent Hricko, said it was a terrifying moment for the family.

Kent Hricko said when he first heard his wife screaming about a shark, he just assumed there was one nearby. He said he had no idea a shark attacked his son.

When he saw Fischer Hricko panicking and moving toward the boat, Kent Hricko said he tried swimming back to him as fast as he could.

“When I’m approaching him, I’m just seeing blood gushing out of his face, and at that point, I’m like, ‘What happened?’” Kent said.

In a team effort, Fischer’s family got him back on the boat and rushed to shore. They then drove him to an urgent care clinic where he received at least 10 stitches on his upper lip.

“He was definitely shocked, a little bit of crying — but not much,” Kent Hricko said. “He was being tough.”

Kent Hricko said the doctors’ performance was laudable, adding they did a great job of making everyone feel calm.

After leaving the clinic, Fischer Hricko spent the night resting and recovering.

The next day, he was ready to go back out and have fun, even though he just went through a traumatic experience.

“You (have to) always stay positive,” Fischer Hricko said.

Instead of capturing lobsters that day, he decided to use a hook to catch a shark.

He got a hook in a shark that was at least four feet long, but he was unable to reel it in. Regardless, he believes it was a good way to end his family trip.

“Fischer’s going to have a cool story to tell when he goes back to school,” Kent Hricko said.

The family said that for now, Fischer cannot go back into the water while his lip is healing, but Fischer said that as soon as he recovers, he plans to get back in the water.

About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.