A video of a small shark latched onto the arm of a man in Florida has got everyone talking online. The man is seen visibly calm and smiling throughout the rescue operation.
The incident took place at Jensen Beach. A man swimming in the sea came out of the water cradling a nurse shark that had grabbed his arm and refused to budge.
Several beach goers were taken by surprise as he calmly sought aid. Photos and videos taken by witnesses have been circulating widely across social media sites, with some people speculating whether the man was irked by the animal or not.
Footage shows firefighters answering the distress call, pouring alcohol on the shark’s face in an attempt to get it to let go of the man’s arm. Watch the video here:
“Looks like you have a friend for life,” a woman is heard in the video, while the victim repliesd: “I just wanted to play volleyball today, OK?”
“A beach patron came up to the tower and advised me that this guy needed help out on the sandbar with a shark that was stuck to his arm,” said Lifeguard Brian Bricious to CBS 12, who altered Martin County Fire Rescue (MCFR) department for help. “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something comes along and surprises you.”
Some people, however, accused the victim of angering the shark. Jeremy Porter, a passerby who shot a video of the operation, wrote on Facebook, “All, please know, this shark did not go after this guy. This guy grabbed the shark and the shark bit him. Hopefully lesson learned for this guy.”
An MCFR spokesperson Bethany Alex couldn’t confirm the same, but said, “We would like to use this as an opportunity to tell people that it’s important to respect the wildlife.”
“We’re in their domain, they’re not in our domain,” she added, speaking to Maimi Herald.
The rescue department said the man was treated on the beach and his injuries were not grave so hospitalisation wasn’t required. Eventually, the shark was released back into the ocean.
Nurse sharks are “slow-moving bottom-dwellers and are, for the most part, harmless to humans,” according to National Geographic.