Enrique Martin was on a sunset stroll on South Beach when he spotted a nurse shark swimming just a few feet offshore.
He quickly whipped out his phone to capture a video of the four- to five-foot shark as it wriggled in the surf.
“Isn’t nature beautiful?” he marveled.
Nurse sharks, as this one appears to be, are gentle creatures. They rarely bite humans unless they’re provoked — experts say nurse sharks bite Floridians one to three times a year. In the summer of 2016, a 23-year-old woman was bitten by a small nurse shark that wouldn’t let go of her arm. She had to go to the hospital to get the dead shark removed.
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Last year, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, there were 155 total shark attacks. Eighty-eight attacks were unprovoked, and there were no fatalities in the U.S. Florida had 31 attacks, more than any other state, and most were in Volusia County.
It’s common to see nurse sharks near the shore, but it’s more of an occasion when a deadly shark comes close.
A great white Shark named George was spotted near Everglades National Park in February. George is one of about 30 great whites being tracked by the marine research group Ocearch. The group embeds trackers on the sharks that relay their location whenever they surface. They even have a — quite popular — Twitter feed.
Drone footage from November showed what the cameraman thought was a Tiger shark swimming dangerously near unsuspecting swimmers. No one was injured.
At the time, Miami Beach’s Ocean Rescue chief, Vince Canosa, told the Herald that in his 35-year career on the beach, he’s never seen a problem.
“They don’t hang around too long,” he said. “It’s their home and we are in it.”