Shark attack victim speaks
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Aug. 6, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Dark water released from Lake Okeechobee into the Gulf is creating a beach danger for you, since sharks can mistake you for prey.
Just ask the teen who says he was bitten by one off Sanibel.
The Mercurio family from New Jersey has been coming down to Sanibel Island every year for the past five years.
But this latest trip was no picnic on the beach.
The crystal clear water typically associated with the beaches of Sanibel has been replaced with something brown and murky.
17 year old Christian Mercurio has the marks to prove a shark sampled his right leg - starting at his ankle nearly all the way up to his knee.
His left foot was completely punctured.
Christian said "I was being pushed then pulled. So I thought that something was attacking me. So I was in danger."
Christian was wading in the surf, reeling in a fish.
He also had two bait shrimp in his pocket when he got attacked.
Soon after, his mom noticed he was having difficulty getting out of the water.
Lisa Mercurio said "he started to run and he kept tripping and falling and thats when I realized that and said to my husband... something is wrong."
Christian was trying to warn everyone around him, yelling shark, as he tried to make it to shore.
He added that "my mom was like don't scream shark... because if there isn't one your going to get in trouble... but like then once i got out she was like ooooh... you really did get bit by a shark."
Lisa agreed and said "when I saw him out the water and
I looked down and I saw that his wounds were gushing... were pouring blood."
Christian is now on lots of pain medication and resting.
His father is hopefull Christian won't need any major surgery.
They'll see an orthopedic surgeon to check on any ligament damage.
But when his parents were trying to stop the bleeding, they were amazed by how calm he was - just texting his friends.
He's not exactly traumatized, really more like he's just annoyed because as he points out "I lost my fishing pole... and i just got it restrung."
His mom says, he won't be going in the water anytime soon, but they love it here and want to come back.
They just want the water to be crystal clear, like in the past.