“Florida man” has become its own sub-genre of humor with the Sunshine state front and center for some of the most outlandish true stories we’ve ever heard. Previously we have seen Floridians throw an alligator through a drive-thru window, but this time, we’re taken to the ocean where a surfer reportedly jumped off his surfboard and onto a shark — only to get bitten.
Stephen Michelena, a 32-year-old surfer, was hitting some waves at New Smyrna Beach on Sunday afternoon when 911 was called. According to the 911 call, the caller claimed he saw a surfer who “jumped off his surfboard and onto a shark.”
Luckily for Michelena, he survived the encounter with only a few scraps and bruises. He was treated at the scene before he drove himself back home to Orlando, Florida, later that day, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Michelena couldn’t make out what species the shark was, but he made it clear the shark was a decent size.
Ironically, this isn’t the first time someone has jumped off their board and landed on an unsuspecting shark. In August of this year, a surfer hopped off his board after riding a wave, accidentally landing on a Shark as well.
Donald Walsh was surfing on August 27 when he landed on a shark that he deemed was around 7 ft long. Wash was bitten on his hand and his leg.
“Took a wave, one thing I never do, I never really try to throw an air but I tried to throw one. Didn’t land it, landed on a shark instead and he decided to take a bite out of me.”
He added: “It felt like a freight train hit me and the first thing I could think of was to literally push him away from me and as soon as it happened, I grabbed my board and started to paddle as fast as I could.”
The 32-year-old’s bite marked the twelfth time a shark attack has happened in Volusia County this year alone.
The shark population in the surrounding areas is a large reason for the ever-growing number of attacks. According to Newsweek, there are an estimated 2,200 sharks ranging from bull sharks to blacktips in the nearby waters.
New Smyrna Beach, where a large portion of these attacks take place, has been deemed the “shark bite capital of the world.” In 2018 alone, there were 16 unprovoked shark attacks at their beach.