6 people victim of shark attacks over Fourth of July weekend in Texas, Florida

Of the 6 shark attacks, 4 were in Florida
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Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 08, 2024

JUPITER, Fla. — Over the Fourth of July weekend, six people were attacked by sharks, two of which were in Florida and the other four in Texas.

Conner Baker spent the Fourth of July with his girlfriend's family, soaking in the sun at New Smyrna Beach just south of Daytona, known as the shark bite capital of the world.

"We were out there maybe thigh or knee deep if anything like that, just throwing the football," Baker said. "We hadn't been in the water no more than five minutes."

Baker went up for a life-changing catch.

"My right foot, I think, was still in the water, it wasn't touching the ground. I think the shark just kind of came up behind or maybe beside me," Baker said.

He felt pain in his right foot and he started screaming.

"It just felt like I was getting stabbed on both sides of my foot," Baker said.

Baker ended up having four severed tendons in his foot and damage to his plantar fascia. Luckily, there was no severe damage and expects his recovery to take about three months.

According to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File, there were 69 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide in 2023. 16 of those happened in Florida, with 8 occurring in New Smyrna Beach.

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Florida Tech Conservation Lab Director Toby Daley-Engel said that although attacks are rare, they are more common this time of year.

"We are going through a historic heat wave associated with climate change," Daley-Engel said. "It's just hotter than normal so you're going to have more seeking out the coolness of the ocean. So, the more people in the water the more chances of a shark attack."

Daley-Engel has a few safety tips for beachgoers if they encounter a shark.

"The best thing to do is just remain calm," Daley-Engel said. f you see a shark, don't splash around. Don't act like praying; just kind of be mellow, take a deep breath, and be stoked you saw such a cool creature."

The Nassau County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit found the victim with a critical injury when they responded to the shark attack on June 28, 2024.


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For Baker, he's just happy to be alive.

"I'll still go on vacation, but I won't get back in the water, at least for the foreseeable future," Baker said. "Things might change in the future, who knows, but for now, I don't see myself doing anything besides getting my toes wet."