A 22-year-old surfer from Jacksonville was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after what rescue personnel believe was a shark bite.
Jacksonville Beach police say Chad Renfro was surfing near the 1100 block of First Street South had two or three lacerations on one foot, one being more than 2 inches long.
Renfro said he did not see what bit him, but another surfer told Channel 4's Jason Law he saw a 4- to 5-foot shark circle the man's board twice before he was bitten.
"He came up to me and circled me so I went in."
"I saw him bleeding everywhere and the lifeguards came and saved him." surfer Duncan McCartha said.
There have been several shark bites in Volusia and Brevard counties earlier this spring, but this is believed to be the first bite in Duval County this year.
Dr. Jim Gelsleichter, UNF Assistant Professor of Biology and Shark Expert said "This in itself should be a warning sign that this is a time when we see the greater amounts of activity so its a time to be cautious."
"Usually in the evening is when sharks are feeding. That is the time when the water is murkier so you can't see your surroundings as well, and of course this is a time when people are in the water surfing."
Renfro's mother said Wednesday night that her son is out of surgery. She said the shark bite sliced a nerve, most of a tendon and a piece of bone. He has 85 stitches and will need therapy.