15-year-old surfer bitten by shark shares ordeal
MELBOURNE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida teen who was bitten on his foot and ankle by a shark on Saturday said, despite his ordeal, he cannot wait to hit the waves again.
"I was making sure they got pictures," said 15-year-old Michael Adler about the shark bite he suffered while out surfing with friends. "I was just mad about having to miss all the waves, but not really the shark."
Adler, a Fort Lauderdale resident, headed to Sebastian Inlet State Park in Melbourne Saturday for a day of surfing. Doctors said he got several stitches as a souvenir. "He had 20 holes on top of his foot, said Dr. Mark Munro, who treated Adler at Holmes Regional Medical Center. "One larger one was three inches long, and that's the one that went to the top of his foot down to the bone of the ankle joint."
A strong wave tackled Michael Adler and sent him off his surf board. The murky water prevented him from seeing the shark that was tugging on his foot. "It felt like I'd stepped in coral and a bunch of rocks," he said. "I wasn't sure it was a shark when it first happened." It wasn't until when he got back on his surfboard that the Miami native realized what had transpired. "I realized, like, five seconds after, I'm like, 'Ah, that was probably a shark,'" he said.
Adler got back to shore, and someone from the military stopped the bleeding with a makeshift tourniquet before paramedics arrived. Doctors repaired four tendons and said the greatest risk, as the St. Thomas Aquinas High School freshman recovers, is infection over the next six weeks.
Adler said there was always a chance of being bitten by a shark while surfing but never thought it could happen to him. He added the odds are in his favor. "Now, I know I'm not gonna get bit again, so I'm not scared," he said. "I mean, how many people get bitten by a shark twice?"
Doctors estimated it will take at least eight weeks until it's safe for Adler to get back in the water.
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