Survival Animal Attacks

Watch: Shark Drags Fisherman Overboard in Florida Everglades

“The sharks are no joke in the Everglades and the warnings about keeping your hands out of the water are not an exaggeration"
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The shark chomps down on the fisherman's right hand before dragging him into the water. via Instagram

As anglers, we often get complacent around the water. We’ll hop out of the boat to wade, or we’ll reach down elbow-deep to unsnag a lure. We do these things without worrying too much, and in most places throughout North America, it’s perfectly safe to dip our hands and toes (or even swim) in the water. The Florida Everglades, however, is not like most places. And a recent video shows why anglers there should always keep their hands and feet inside the boat.

The video, which was recorded in Everglades National Park last Friday, shows a fisherman being dragged overboard by a shark. As soon as the angler dips his hands into the water to rinse them off, the shark bites one of his hands and pulls him into the water. The shark lets go within seconds as the other men help pull the angler back into the boat.

It’s unclear how severe the angler’s injuries were, but he was treated by NPS park rangers before being airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center in Miami-Dade, according to the Miami Herald.

In the moments before the incident occurred, another man on board advises the angler to not put his hands in his water. The angler then replies that it will only be for a couple seconds. Unfortunately for him, that’s all the time the shark needed to sink its jaws into his right hand.

Local fishing guide Mark Russo shared the terrifying clip in an Instagram post before sending it to South Florida’s Local 10 News. Russo later deleted his original post, but it has since been re-shared by other captains and fishing pages, who are using it as an example of what not to do in the Everglades.

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“Today was one of the scariest days on the water I have ever had,” Russo wrote in the original caption. “After releasing a snook, [Nick] washed his hands in the water and was immediately bit by a large shark.”

Russo added that the fishing was hot that day, but that they’d lost some of their fish to sharks when trying to land them near the boat. Although he said there was no blood or chum in the water at the time, he admitted that the incident was preventable. He also identified the shark as a lemon shark, although it’s been referred to in other reports as a bull shark.

“The sharks are no joke in the Everglades and the warnings about keeping your hands out of the water are not an exaggeration,” said Russo.