Florida surfer likely bitten by shark at New Smyrna Beach

The Florida man's injury to his ankle was likely caused by a toothy sea creature. Sharks were seen in the water before the bite.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla.-- A Florida man is recovering after he was likely bitten by a shark while surfing at New Smyrna Beach Monday morning, according to Volusia County Beach Safety officials. 

The possible shark attack happened shortly before 9:30 a.m.

The 22-year-old man from Oviedo reported seeing sharks in the water but not at the time of the bite. He was taken to a local hospital for a non-life-threatening injury to his left ankle. 

At least two people were bitten by sharks this month alone at New Smyrna Beach, officials said. 

A 48-year-old Lake Worth man was bitten by a shark near the south jetty, causing minor injuries to his back. 

On the day prior, officials said a 21-year-old DeLand man was surfing a little after 3 p.m. when he was attacked by a shark. He suffered serious injuries to his foot and was taken to the hospital by Volusia County Emergency Medical Services. 

"Most of the time there are juvenile sharks feeding on those baitfish. They grab a person by accident, they release, and they swim away," Volusia Beach Safety Captain AJ Miller said.

What are the odds of being bitten by a shark?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said it's "extremely unlikely" for a person to be bitten by a shark in Florida waters. If a shark does attack, officials said the injury is typically not life-threatening. 

If swimming on an ocean beach or inland waters, the FWC recommends staying in groups, as sharks are likely to bite a solitary individual. Swim in areas tended by lifeguards and avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active. 

Sharks also tend to hunt in areas where there are large schools of bait fish, such as opening to jetties. 

Do sharks hunt people?

Sharks would much rather feed on fish and marine mammals, experts said. 

"Sharks have been known to attack humans when they are confused or curious. If a shark sees a human splashing in the water, it may try to investigate, leading to an accidental attack," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website stated.