BOCA GRANDE — A 55-year-old man was bitten by a shark near Gasparilla Island on Monday, but he was lucky.
The bite was only a minor one.
Charlotte County Fire & EMS got the call at 4:07 p.m. for a shark bite near the Boca Grande Causeway at Placida, said Todd Dunn, spokesman for the agency. Emergency workers arrived at Eldred’s Marina in Placida at 4:17 p.m., where the man was brought to shore.
The man was bitten in the arm by a blacktip shark, Dunn said. While EMTs had planned to get the man to a trauma center for serious injuries, the bite was not that serious and emergency workers were able to treat him at the scene and take him to a local hospital via normal transport. The trauma alert was waved off, Dunn said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission calls the blacktip shark “an active, fast-swimming shark often seen at the surface” of waters on its website, myfwc.com.
“The blacktip is one of the most commonly collected sharks in the commercial fishery and considered a valuable commercial species with marketable flesh, hide, fins and liver. It is also recreationally targeted and caught on light tackle, as it often leaps out of the water when hooked,” the site states.
But apparently the targeting goes both ways.
The blacktip “has been implicated in attacks on bathers,” the website states.