In one of a series of recent attacks in Florida as of late, a mother fought off a shark that was attacking her daughter, minutes after a surfer was attacked on the same beach.
Valeh Levy and her 15-year-old daughter Sydney were surfing off of New Smyrna Beach when a shark pulled the teen off of her board and underwater. This happened twice, before the mother was able to pull the teen up. Two nearby surfers came to their aid, and scared off the shark off, which was still circling.
“It was to me like a scene out of ‘Jaws,’ where the girl’s getting sucked under, and I said, ‘There’s no way this thing is going to kill my daughter,’ and I grabbed her shoulders and I pulled her up and I threw her on the nose of my board,” stated the elder Levy.
There was already an ambulance present at the scene, as 17-year-old surfer Nick Romano was also attacked, minutes before. Levy was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery, and was released hours later. Just a few days earlier, a bull shark attacked another surfer at Jensen Beach, roughly 100 miles away.
Experts say that environmental factors may have something to do with the rash of attacks.
Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanic explorer Jacques, stated that “environmental factors that we’re suffering on land could also be happening in the water such as climate change, lack of food sources, which changes migratory patterns, and you have 80 million or more tourists that come to those waters, so it’s no surprise accidents happen.”
Experts also pointed out that unseasonably warm weather might have put more people in the water earlier this year, causing sharks on patrol to take exploratory bites – “Sharks don’t have arms like we do, so for them feeling, is feeling with their mouths – 95% percent of the time, a hungry, curious shark takes a taste, and moves on because sharks don’t consider people to be particularly tasty,” according to Cousteau.