Two teenage surfers are thankful to be alive after two separate shark attacks occurred off a Florida beach just moments apart.
Nick Romano, 17, was the first surfer to be bitten off the shore of New Smyrna Beach. Romano recalls that while he was surfing the shark breached the water and took hold of his calf, pulling him off his board.
"He kind of spun up. His tail flipped up right in front of me," Romano told WESH.com. "My reaction was to shove him right away, and then he swam back down. I stood there and was like, 'I just got bit by a shark.'"
Romano was driven to a local hospital with lacerations on his lower leg, Volusia County Beach Patrol reported.
A short while later, a second incident involving a 15 year-old girl pitted the shark against the young girl's mother.
Sydney Levy was paddling her surf board next to her mother when the shark bit her ankle. The shark then pulled Sydney under. She was able to break free of the hold and she then "got back on her board, and there was her ankle ... blood coming off of it," her mom, Valey Levy, told WESH.com.
But the shark was not finished and came up and took hold of Sydney again. "I said, 'There's no way this thing is going to kill my daughter,' and I grabbed her shoulders, and I pulled her up and threw her on the nose of my board," Levy said.
The pair was helped ashore by fellow surfers and then taken to a nearby hospital where she received 17 stitches to close the gash on her ankle.
Local newspaper The Daytona Beach News-Journal said both victims described the shark as between four and five feet long, but authorities said it was unlikely that they were bitten by the same one.
New Smyrna Beach, which is located on the east coast of Florida, has previously been voted the state's best beach, but it has a long history of shark attacks.
It is considered the shark bite capital of the world and is said to have more reports of attacks per square mile than any other beach on Earth.
Part of the same stretch of beach had to be closed in 2001 after 10 shark attacks in 10 days.