14-year-old surfer bitten by shark off Melbourne Beach
Fourteen-year-old Kai Rittgers was paddling in off Melbourne Beach at dusk Monday when he felt something hit his foot.
He saw a tannish-gray blur in the water near his surfboard.
“It was like this sharp little pain, then I kind of sat up really quick and saw it was a shark,” Kai said. The boy said he shook his left foot, which left the 2- to 3-foot shark “squirming around on the board” for a few seconds.
Kai, his brothers and his dad, Bryce Rittgers, had been surfing off North Spessard Holland Park, but Kai was the only one left in the water at the time. Slightly scared by the encounter, Kai paddled toward shore as fast as he could.
Rittgers took his son to see a friend, Dawn Jockovich, who is an emergency room doctor, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.
She put a few bandages over the crescent-shaped line of teeth marks on Kai’s heel -- no stitches were necessary -- and issued a prescription for an antibiotic.
Recovering at home Monday night, the Hoover Middle School student said he felt fine, and that he wouldn’t go surfing that late in the day again.
His father agreed.
“I tell him every time it gets late (that) it’s feeding time, you need to come in,” Rittgers said.
The incident was at least the fifth reported shark bite off Brevard County beaches this year.
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