2 Central Florida surfers recover from shark bites

Posted at 5:05 AM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 00:35:07-04

(WESH/NBC) - Two Central Florida surfers are recovering after they were bitten by sharks Monday.

A 25-year-old man is recovering in the hospital after he was bit while surfing in Volusia County.

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"I looked down and my foot was in the shark's mouth," said victim Sam Cumiskey of Edgewater, Fla.

The bull shark actually released Cumiskey's right foot, giving him a chance to get away, however four tendons on the top of his foot were severed along with severe lacerations on the bottom.

"It's a sizable chunk was missing from my foot, not missing but fileted open," said Cumiskey.

Cumiskey has been surfing for 10 years waves, typically favoring the New Smyrna Beach but Monday he and his pals hit up Ponce Inlet since the wind was better.

He was in 5 feet of white water, riding his board without fins when he fell and as he put his right foot down.

"It kind of felt like kicking a wall really hard is a good way to describe it or a wall kicked me. I knew what was going on. It was a big gray bull shark biting my foot," said Cumiskey.

Sam says the animal was bigger than him, at least 6 to 6.5 feet.

There's a tooth mark on his foot 2 inches wide and for a brief moment, Cumiskey worried the shark could win.

The surfer paddled in, using his leash as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

Doctors reattached the tendons, but this surfer is out of the water for at least 2 months...not for good

"All I want is to get better so I can go surf again," said Cumiskey.

He isn't the first member of his family to have been bitten by a shark.

His older brother needed to get stitches a few years ago after being bit but his injury wasn't as severe as Cumiskey’s injury.

The other shark bite victim Monday was a 37-year-old man who was bitten on the ankle while surfing near the New Smyrna Beach jetty. He was not transported to the hospital, but was going to have the injury looked at on his own.

Courtesy: WESH via NBC News Channel