“Sharks can see contrast well and are attracted to it — contrast like those between the sun-kissed and paler parts of a person’s body, which is why experts recommend wearing more neutral-colored bathing suits to reduce the chances of being attacked,” the Miami Herald reported. “But sharks are also attracted to flash and splashes, and Lanza, who was swimming nude, was bitten in the lower legs as he tried to swim to shore.”
A clothing optional section of Haulover Beach has been open since 1991.
Florida Atlantic University shark expert Stephen Kajiura said he suspects the tiger shark found washed up on Juno Beach died after a battle with fishermen.
Kajiura, whose students performed the necropsy on the estimated 300-pound shark, said he will have more information later today, but that the no outward signs of injury point to exhaustion as a possible cause.
“The recreational fishermen no doubt enjoy the sport of shark fishing, but need to recognize that these animals are not able to handle the physiological stress of fighting on a line for an extended time,” Kajiura said. “They likely released it thinking it was OK, but it was probably near exhaustion and died from stress soon afterwards.”
Justin Rice and his girlfriend Olga Breise, of Tequesta, often walk Juno Beach in the morning. They didn’t see the tiger shark Tuesday, but said it was upsetting to learn about the death.
“There aren’t a lot of big breeders out there so to see a shark this large dead isn’t good,” Rice said.
Update 1:55 p.m.: Florida Atlantic University shark researchers are performing a necropsy on a large tiger shark that washed ashore on Juno Beach.
The shark, which is estimated to be 300 pounds and about 6-feet long, had no outward signs of injury, said Carol Lyn Parrish, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Parrish said the shark has a tag, but it’s unclear what group was tracking it.
“Those have been removed and we’ll find out if it’s us, NOAA or one of these other private entities,” Parrish said. “Right now, they are collecting biological data from the shark to determine it’s cause of death.”
Parrish said it’s unclear who will remove the shark or whether the university might want to take the carcass for research.
“We don’t think the cause of death will be determined for some time, but we will share that information when it becomes available,” Parrish said.
An adult film star faked a shark attack last week off the coast of Palm Beach County because she wanted a “viral” video, according to a respected Jupiter-based dive company.
Bryce Rohrer, owner and operator of Florida Shark Diving, said Molly Cavalli and her film crew approached him two months ago saying they wanted to do a shark dive and fake a shark bite so that it would be widely viewed online.
Rohrer has a text message that the actress, Molly Cavalli, sent him with an image of what the bite would look like with special effects makeup.
“I was talking directly to Molly and she just said, hey, we are looking to do a shoot faking a shark bite and it’s strictly in order for it to go viral,” Rohrer said. “We immediately declined. We are pro-shark, pro-wildlife, and want to show the importance of sharks, not villainize them.”
But the film crew found another boat to take them out off of Palm Beach County and the resultant video did go viral, being viewed more than 14.3 million times on YouTube.
Neither the film company, nor the actress, responded Tuesday to attempts to contact them.
Florida shark experts, especially George Burgess, who is charged with investigating shark bites as keeper of the International Shark Attack File, quickly questioned the wound.
According to a news release from the adult-film company, the “shark-attack incident” required 20 stitches.
“I can tell you for a fact, it was not a shark bite,” Burgess said Tuesday about a slice in the actress’s foot allegedly wrought by a lemon shark. “How it was inflicted is conjectural, but the main thing is, the injury is not a shark bite. It was a PR stunt, and it worked.”
Sharks sell. Porn sells. Sharks and porn together — slam dunk. Now add the specter of fake news, and an internet trifecta is formed. Some media outlets, including The Palm Beach Post, posted the story online.
“It’s so bad for business, so bad for the image of sharks in general and makes shark diving look really bad,” Rohrer said.
Florida Atlantic University shark researcher Stephen Kajiura reviewed the video.
Remember the heart-stopping moments when professional surfer Mick Fanning fought off a white shark as he competed in at the J-Bay Open in South Africa?
The 2015 encounter was captured on live T.V.
“I had this instinct that something was behind me … Then, the thing came up … I saw the whole thing just thrashing around. I was getting dragged under by my leg rope. I felt like I punched it a couple of times … My leg rope broke. I started just swimming and swimming. I was screaming,” he was quoted as saying in Business Insider.
With one hand already mangled and the ocean turning Kool-Aid red with blood, Chucky Luciano braced for another assault.
He punched out with his right fist, striking the shark, but getting bit on the hand nonetheless. The other surfers were dozens of yards away, staring at him in shock.
“I realized no one was coming to help me,” Luciano said about the shark attack that occurred Sunday morning at New Smyrna Beach.
Luciano, 36, knew the risks when he entered the wilderness ruled by the apex predator last weekend.
But the Miami resident had an added strike against him as soon as he hit the surf. He was swimming with mullet.
The annual mullet run is underway along the east coast – a fall migration undertaken to spawn in the open ocean. Luciano was one of three people bit by sharks last weekend in New Smyrna.
One Palm Beach County lifeguard said he pulls people out of the water when schools of mullet hug the beach.
Good idea said University of Florida shark expert George Burgess.
“We see a jump in incidents around this time of year from Matanzas Inlet through the Palm Beaches,” Burgess said. “You put people in the soup with mullet and predators and there are going to be bites.”
Burgess said fall is the time of year when mullet leave the lagoons and estuaries along the coast, massing along the beaches in huge schools or “bait balls” in anticipation of moving offshore to spawn.
“It’s like clockwork,” Burgess said. “Totally predictable.”
Brian McManus, a lieutenant with Palm Beach County Ocean Rescue and a 30-year veteran lifeguard, said the mullet, more so than cooler temperatures, are one of the biggest signs of fall on the beach.
Recently, he’s pulled people out of the water when big schools go by. It’s not just sharks that follow the mullet, but tarpon and barracuda.
“People can get freaked out,” McManus said.
The mullet run usually lasts a few weeks.
Luciano said he’ll be back in the water, but might be more inclined to get out if there is bait around.
“I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Luciano, who owns South Beach Surf Club and is a surf instructor. “I never thought I would be part of the food chain.”
The encounter Luciano describes – not your typical case of mistaken identity where the shark bites and releases – is characteristic of some species of sharks, such as the aggressive and territorial bull shark, Burgess said.
That’s what Luciano believes it was. And it was about the same length as the 5’8″ board he was surfing.
“The second time he attacked, I was aware, OK, this is an attack, and I got to defend myself a little better,” Luciano said. “He was doing that aggressive shark twitching thing. I got to punch him right before he got too close to me but he still bit my right hand.”
Luciano said he could see the shark following him, but he managed to belly-in on a wave. Once he got to the beach and people realized he was hurt, help came pretty quickly.
“I thought I was going to die,” he said.
Luciano had reconstructive surgery on his left hand and doctors stitched up his right hand. A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help pay for his medical bills.
As you can hear in the video, O’Connor says probably not, but then the nurse shark comes after him. The action starts toward the end of the clip.
“I look down a second later and it’s coming straight for me,” O’Connor said in an Instagram post. “I start swimming backwards trying to keep it away with my fins and I realize the stringer is wrapped around my arm and the dead fish is on my body and the hog was in my hand.”
Nurse sharks are normally docile, laying on the bottom mostly motionless unless disturbed. But this one must have seen an opportunity for a easy dinner.