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Helicopter spots sharks just a few feet away from swimmers at Daytona Beach

Aerial footage captures several sharks swimming around the waters of Daytona Beach.

Posted: Jul 3, 2019 3:10 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2019 3:10 PM

Some beachgoers frolicking in the Florida surf were shocked to find out that sharks were swimming just a few feet away.

Fran Kumpf told CNN affiliate WESH that she saw a shark that appeared to be about 5 feet long on Monday at Daytona Beach.

"The tail was just up and down, so we kind of followed it for a while and then it just disappeared," she said.

The WESH helicopter flew over the area and saw several sharks, including one that was hanging out in the shallow waters and swam within a few arm lengths of several groups of swimmers.

Gavin Naylor, the program director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, watched the video and told CNN that they were probably blacktip sharks, which are common in the area.

"If people knew how close they were to sharks on a routine basis, they'd have a different perspective," Naylor said.

He said the sharks generally mind their own business, but they do swim in shallower water hunting for bait fish, such as herring, sardines, menhaden, mullet, and anchovies.

"These particular ones, they would never seek out people, but they might accidentally bite a person if they thought it was a bait fish," Naylor said.

The International Shark Attack File says that blacktip sharks are responsible for 20% of unprovoked shark attacks in Florida since 1926 -- but that is still a very small number. There have only been 29 recorded blacktip attacks worldwide, and only one of those was fatal.

That was little consolation to swimmers, who watched the video.

"They were pretty close, so imagine if your kids go far. You know, watch your kids," Enrique Herrera told WESH.

An 18-year-old surfer was bitten by a shark on Sunday at nearby New Smyrna Beach. The teen was paddling his surfboard at about 4:30 p.m. when the shark bit his foot, Volusia County Ocean Rescue Capt. Tammy Malphurs told CNN.

He suffered very minor puncture wounds and did not have to go to the hospital, Malphurs said.

Officials don't know what kind of shark bit him.

Volusia County, which includes Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, leads the US in shark bites. There have been 303 unprovoked shark attacks there since 1882.

Naylor said that waves that make the area so popular with surfers also attract bait fish -- and the sharks who want to eat them.

"Unless there were a lot of fish swimming around those people were not likely to be in danger at all because they don't look like bait fish," he said.

He said most of the bites happen by mistake because a shark confuses a person's foot or arm for a fish.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 256827

Reported Deaths: 5638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17257180
Hinds16331322
Harrison13567194
Rankin10804212
Jackson10453184
Lee8864141
Madison8314164
Jones6434112
Forrest6009120
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Tate273162
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Holmes168767
Clay159833
Stone144721
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Clarke139862
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Smith121424
Yalobusha117834
Walthall112336
Noxubee110822
Greene110429
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Carroll104821
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Perry102631
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Webster92824
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Humphreys83124
Benton82023
Kemper77620
Quitman6968
Franklin66715
Choctaw60913
Wilkinson58725
Jefferson54919
Sharkey43117
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 426543

Reported Deaths: 6126
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62752920
Mobile30551554
Madison27303186
Tuscaloosa20835267
Montgomery19192305
Shelby18693114
Baldwin16513183
Lee12603101
Morgan12321113
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Houston8681148
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Lauderdale763183
St. Clair7599120
Talladega6224108
Walker5930174
Jackson583741
Colbert535473
Blount532083
Autauga522755
Coffee446256
Dale399781
Franklin368148
Chilton337865
Russell335910
Covington330168
Escambia321342
Dallas305196
Chambers288669
Clarke283133
Tallapoosa2630107
Pike251329
Marion247350
Lawrence245247
Winston229035
Bibb217047
Geneva203335
Marengo200829
Pickens196931
Hale177442
Barbour173836
Fayette171226
Butler170758
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Henry155021
Monroe147317
Randolph141535
Washington138326
Clay127045
Crenshaw120244
Cleburne118423
Lamar118419
Macon116835
Lowndes111535
Wilcox103621
Bullock99728
Perry98219
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Sumter89526
Greene76223
Coosa60515
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