Despite the rarity of attacks in The Bahamas, the country recorded three shark biting incidents within two days between Exuma and Abaco on July 28 and 29.
On Sunday, 28th July, at about 11:15 am, a 50 year-old U.S. visitor reported that while on a diving expedition, he was bitten on the rear lower extremities by a shark just east of a local Cay near Grand Cay, causing serious injuries; He got medical treatment with the assistance of a friend – a 57 year-old local man.
He was treated by the local medical team at Grand Cay and then airlifted to a hospital in West Palm Beach for further medical treatment.
On the same day a 64-year-old tourist from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was bitten on his left hand by a nurse shark at Compass Cay, Exuma.
Reports say the man was cleaning fish in an area known for having nurse sharks when the incident occurred at about 4:25 pm.
According to Bahamian police reports, the man was then taken to the local clinic in Exuma and later airlifted to New Providence where his injuries were reportedly described as non-life threatening.
On Monday 29th July, 2013, at about 4:35 pm Police at Marsh Harbour Police Station received a report form a local Doctor in Marsh Harbour regarding a shark bite which occurred at 4:05 pm just off Scotland Cay. The victim is a 40 year old United States visitor of Harborside Circle, Largo, Florida.
The victim’s wife stated that the family had just left Green Turtle Cay on their 31 foot vessel to enjoy some swimming and paddle boarding, when the incident occurred. The injuries were described by the local Doctor as serious. The victim was airlifted to a Miami based medical facility for further medical treatment.
According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) at the University of Florida, The Bahamas, with its huge amount of coastline and larger tourist and resident populations, has recorded more shark attacks than any other Caribbean destination – but still only 35 since 1896 – while the rest of the region averages less than one attack each year. Florida averages 20 to 30 shark attacks each year.
“The International Shark Attack File isn’t overly concerned about shark attacks in the Caribbean,” says George Burgess, director of the (ISAF). “On a per capita basis, [the Caribbean] isn’t where you’d expect to find attacks.”