Austin Moore of Neptune Beach says he is lucky he didn’t lose a leg after a severe shark bite he suffered on Labor Day weekend.
Austin, 9, was vacationing with his family in New Smyrna Beach — often labeled the “Shark Bite Capital of the World” when a shark bit his leg while he was standing in chest-deep water.
“I felt something grab me, so I turned around,” Austin said. “I thought It was my uncle trying to scare [me] and I turned around and was surprised not to see anyone.”
Austin comes from a family of surfers — so he says it was no big deal for him to be out in the ocean. His bedroom has pictures and shark memorabilia all over his walls.
Now, he has a great story to tell.
“I saw blood in the water,” said Austin.
He didn’t realize what was going on until he looked around him. Austin says he started screaming and made it to shore, where his mother was waiting.
“I turned this way and I heard [father] Adam say, ‘Why is Austin screaming?’” Shauna Moore said. “We turned and looked at the water and he had a very terrified scream as he was walking.”
Austin was rushed to Halifax Health in in Daytona Beach, where he underwent two hours of surgery to fix two tendons.
After surgery, the family wanted to know just how many stiches he received.
“We asked the doctor .. and he just said ‘A lot,’” Shauna Moore said.
“I’m lucky because I still have my foot,” Austin Moore said.
Austin say he still loves sharks. Just not the one that bit him.
Austin says his leg has to stay wrapped up for a few weeks, but he can’t wait to get back to school and tell his friends his story.
A shark expert in Gainesville says there have been 17 shark bites this year in Florida — eight of them in Volusia County.
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