“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.
Until December, Randall Jordan, was listed as the owner of Emerald Charters in state records. Ownership has since been transferred to 257 Charters, LLC, but Jordan is still named as the captain of Emerald Charters on its website.
Jordan was in good condition this morning, according to a St. Mary’s Medical Center spokesman, who confirmed he was still at the hospital.
Deborah Toohey, who lives in Springhill, Fla., said Jordan is her brother and identified him from a picture taken Sunday by a Palm Beach Post photographer at 111 Love Street in Jupiter where the helicopter picked him up to take him to St. Mary’s.
“He tries to teach people to not be afraid of sharks,” Toohey said. “He’s an avid environmentalist when it comes to sharks.”
While Toohey didn’t know details, she said Jordan had to undergo “reattachment surgery.”
Well-wishers left messages on social media for Jordan, but other dive charter companies did not want to comment for this story or about the practice of feeding sharks during dives.
Jordan did not return calls Tuesday.
In 2015, Jordan was sentenced to a year of probation, a $1,500 fine and 100 hours of community service after he was convicted of three misdemeanor charges stemming from illegally feeding sharks in Florida waters.
Florida banned feeding sharks in 2001, but it is still legal in federal waters, said Amanda Nalley, public information specialist for FWC’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management.
George Burgess, who investigates bites for the International Shark Attack file at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said a bite that occurs when someone is feeding a shark is considered a “provoked” incident.
He said he will investigate the bite, but doesn’t know how forthcoming people will be with information. Shark diving is a multi-million boon to Florida tourism and dive operators don’t like to discuss events that could appear negative to prospective clients, he said.
“The impression that shark diving operations give is that it’s a perfectly safe operation,” Burgess said. “It’s generally safe, but not perfectly safe.”
A report earlier this year from the ocean conservation group Oceana found that in 2016, shark dives generated about $337 million, fueled about 6,000 jobs, and $80 million in wages.
The U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday that seven divers who were rescued 5 miles east of the Jupiter Inlet last week were separated from the Emerald Charter, but it is not investigating the incident and has no report.
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.
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.