MIAMI (CBS4) – A South Florida teen is recovering after he was bitten by a shark over the weekend.
Michael Adler, 16, said he was surfing near the Sebastian Inlet near Melbourne on Saturday when a shark clamped down on his ankle.
“I was trying to catch my last wave in and on the board, the shark bit me on the foot and I immediately tried to yank it out,” said Adler. “It’s crazy how I didn’t even feel it.”
Adler received 20 stitches and underwent surgery to repair several tendons in his foot.
A picture taken after the bite sums up Michael’s state of mind. As paramedics carried him away, he put his arm raised with a huge grin on his face.
“It’s pretty humbling but it’s pretty cool getting bit by a shark because not that many people have gotten bit by a shark before,” Michael told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.
Michael says he didn’t realize how bad it was.
“I just saw blood dripping down but then when I got to the beach I saw the saw the pretty big gash which freaked me out a little bit but not too bad,” Michael said.
He also had some scrapes from the shark encounter underneath his right leg. His father says his son simply had his foot in the wrong place at the wrong time and he is supportive of his son’s desire to continue surfing.
“That’s his passion,” Matt Adler said. “Having a 16 year old I’m more frightened when he gets into a car then when he goes surfing.”
Shark bite or not, Michael plans to get back on his board as soon as he can.
“Can’t live my life scared — the rest of my life just gonna keep surfing,” Michael said. “Doubt it’s gonna happen to me again because how many people get bit by a shark twice.”
Michael’s even changed his Twitter name to “Shark Bait.”
Last year there were eight shark-bite incidents in Brevard County, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.