A woman was hospitalized Sunday after she was bitten by a shark off Vero Beach, TCPalm reports.
The shark chomped Mary Marcus, 57, on the thigh as she swam in the waters in front of the Costa d’Este hotel. She was able to swim to shore and walk to her chair before asking for help.
“She handled it like a champ,” Fort Lauderdale visitor Tracee Kromann told TCPalm. “She was super calm.”
Marcus was treated and released about 4:30 p.m. after getting stitches and antibiotics for several puncture wounds. No other shark encounters were reported that weekend.
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“I glad it wasn’t any worse,” Erik Toomsoo, spokesman for the Vero Beach Lifeguard Association, told TCPalm.
Toomsoo said Marcus was swimming through what he called “shark alley,” adding he and the other lifeguards usually don’t swim father than 20 yards from shore to avoid that area.
Marcus, who was staying at the hotel with her husband, planned to go swimming later on Sunday.
Just over a week ago, a photo went viral after a two-foot nurse shark latched onto a swimmer’s arm in Boca Raton and wouldn’t let go — even after the shark was killed.
While the number of shark attacks was at a worldwide high in 2015 with 98 unprovoked attacks, it is most likely due to an increased number of divers and swimmers, according to the International SharkAttack File.
Florida reported 30 shark attacks in 2015, the highest in the country.