'Shark bite capital of the world' sees first victim of 2019 after man gets bitten at Florida beach

19-year-old Mathew Cornell was at New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County over the weekend when a shark came toward him and chomped on his right calf.


                            'Shark bite capital of the world' sees first victim of 2019 after man gets bitten at Florida beach

A man from Florida was bitten by a shark over the weekend. It marked the first attack of 2019 in a county known as “the shark bite capital of the world,” officials claim. 

19-year-old Mathew Cornell was standing in waist-deep water near New Smyrna Beach’s Flagler Avenue in Volusia County when a shark came toward him and chomped on his right calf and then released him Capt. Andrew Ethridge, of Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue, revealed to Daytona Beach News-Journal. 

Cornell managed to get out of the water and was immediately treated for lacerations at the beach, officials told Orlando station WKMG-TV. Cornell then drove himself to a nearby hospital and had his wound stitched. The Sanford man is expected to recover fully.

The attack took place around 7.30 pm. While officials do not know what kind of shark it was, they are absolutely positive about the animal in the water, judging by the bite marks. Drake Hickman a surf instructor told the news station that sharks enter shallow waters at night to feed. "They bite it and they let go. You don't want to be out there by yourself at night," he warned.

Florida's Volusia County is known as the 'shark bite capital of the world'. (Stock Image) 

Volusia County for a long time has been a hotspot for shark bites it was reported by the News-Journal. The county, famously known as the shark bite capital of the world, also hit an all-time high of 15 bites in 2016. In 2017 the county retained its top spot with nine recorded bites and last year again with four bites. 

Out of the 81 bites that were recorded since 2009,  52 of the victims were surfers data reveals. Experts also reveal that New Smyrna Beach’s reputation as one among the popular surf spots is a factor for the chart-topping numbers in the county. 

“Volusia County just has the most surfers in Florida and the most people in the water, so they keep topping the chart for shark attacks,” Lindsay French a supervisor of the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, revealed to the paper last year.

Till date, there have been no fatal shark attacks reported at Volusia County. There was just one exception of a fatality that occurred miles offshore, the News-Journal reports.