ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. – A teenager was recovering Monday after he was bitten by a shark while surfing this weekend off the coast of St. Augustine Beach.
Peyton McGinn, 14, told News4Jax he was in knee-deep water near the pier on Saturday when the shark, which he estimates was 4 to 5 feet long, bit him on the foot.
“It didn’t really hurt in the moment because I was just, like, shocked that it actually happened,” the St. Augustine teen recalled. “It just felt like someone grabbed me in the moment. I was in shock. Just kind of hopped to land.”
McGinn was able to get away from the shark and made it to shore, where he received help. McGinn was given 25 stitches and will have to walk on crutches for the next few weeks.
News4Jax spoke with McGinn at his home on Monday as his father was cleaning his wounds with water, soap and Neosporin.
The teen will be a freshman at St. Augustine High School and plans to be there on the first day of school, which is next week. McGinn said his biggest concern is missing football. He plays on the team and expects to miss at least three games while he recovers.
“Just kind of sucks because of the football and stuff,” McGinn said. “At least I didn’t, like, lose a toe or anything major.”
Tyler Bowling, manager of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the University of Florida’s Florida Museum of Natural History, said it’s unlikely swimmers at St. Augustine Beach would be under any increased threat of a shark bite because of what happened to McGinn.
“There’s always a possibility, but the odds are infinitesimally small,” Bowling said. “And as human population increase, bites increase, but it’s still astronomical.”
“Pretty crazy,” McGinn said. “The odds are, like, super low.”
According to News4Jax records, this was the first shark bite this year in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia waters.