A 21-year-old man has become the first victim of a shark attack in 2022 in an infamous stretch of ocean known as the "shark bite capital of the world."
The young man had been fishing in the water of New Smyrna Beach near Florida in the USA when he was set upon by a shark that ripped through his left knee and calf.
Thankfully the victim survived his encounter on March 9, but the incident remains the first of its kind in the waters this year.
Last year, sharks were responsible for 17 attacks along the New Smyrna coast which is popular with surfers, bodyboarders, fishermen and swimmers.
Fortunately, none of these were fatal attacks and most were caused by small blacktip sharks.
Indeed, since records began in 1956, there have been 244 attacks along the 17 miles of coastline making it one of the most likely places in the world for a human shark encounter.
The reason for the staggering numbers is due to a peculiarity of the tidal flow in the area that attracts the predators.
Speaking to MyNews13, Gavin Naylor of the International Shark Attack File stated that the chances of getting bit by a shark in New Smyrna Beach are 10 times higher than anywhere else in North America.
However, he went on to state that the chances of these attacks being fatal are extremely rare.
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He said: "You’re far more likely to get involved in a fender bender driving to New Smyrna Beach.
“When people are paddling on their board, the soles of their feet catch the light and very quickly, in exactly the same way the scales on a mullet or a menhaden might catch the light.
"And when you’re a predator, you don’t tarry. You have to be quick and make a quick decision."
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