Surfers know the risk they face of encountering a shark while they're out in the open water, but of course, the odds of actually coming face-to-face with one are always extremely low.

But an Orlando man surfing in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, caught an unfortunate break while he was enjoying a day out on the waters. As reported by Alaa Elassar of, Stephen Michelena jumped off his surfboard and landed right on top of a shark.

The shark bit Michelena in the foot, before swimming away from him. Thankfully, he avoided serious injury, and he didn't require a trip to the hospital. Medical personnel had been called to the scene.


This reportedly marked the 12th shark biting incident at the beach.

Florida is one of the most common locations for shark attacks. According to the International Shark Attack File, there were 16 shark attacks in Florida last year - compared to just one and three in other warm weather states like California and Hawaii, respectively. In all, there were 32 shark attacks in the United States.

Related: You Might Want To Change Your Vacation Plans - 2,000-lb Great White Shark Spotted Off Florida Coast

It's been widely suggested by shark experts and scientists that sharks attack surfers because when they look above, the surfer (and its board) look like creatures that they prey on - including seals, sea lions and turtles.

There are many ways for a swimmer/surfer to reduce their chances of being attacked by a shark. This includes avoiding splashing or wearing jewelry, both of which could attract a shark. Staying clear of the water if you have a cut or wound of some sort is also heavily advised, since sharks are capable of detecting blood.

It's also advised that you don't enter the water at dusk or dawn, since sharks are often present here feeding time. Swimming and/or surfing in bigger crowds is also heavily recommended. It's also wise to avoid fishing areas where sharks are likely to be present.

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