Shark bites 16-year-old off Florida beach

Posted: 05/05/13 at 8:45 pm EDT      Last Updated: 05/05/13 at 10:58 pm EDT

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. (NBC) -- A teenager in South Brevard County became Central Florida's latest shark bite victim Saturday morning.

Brevard County Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Don Slayman said 16-year-old Michael Adler was bitten on the ankle and taken to a hospital for treatment.

A call to 911 was placed at 11:18 a.m., and the incident happened in the 9300 block of State Road A1A in Melbourne Beach.

Slayman said paramedics who treated the patient did not declare a trauma alert, meaning that the injury was not life-threatening.

The Fort Lauderdale teen said despite his trauma, he was more upset about missing out on the waves.

"I was making sure (my surfing buddies) got pictures. I was madder about missing the waves, not the shark," said Adler.

The teen said he was on his surfboard in the waters when he felt a tug on his foot.

"I felt like, its head move and I felt a lot of teeth, but I wasn't really in pain. I thought it was pretty cool that I just got bit by a shark because it hasn't happened to many people," said Adler.

Adler paddled to shore and said a man who was on the beach helped to tie off his leg above the ankle to slow the bleeding. According to Adler's surgeon, there were 20 separate holes in his foot, each from a shark tooth, and some of the punctures went all the way through to the ankle joint.

"It could have been much worse. He could have lost his foot. Luckily, the shark let go. We had to repair four tendons on top of his foot," said Dr. Mark Munro, of the Holmes Regional Medical Center.

Adler is expected to be in a cast for six weeks, but his doctor said he should recover well and be cleared to surf again when the cast comes off.

"Now I know I'm not going to get bit again, because like, how many people get bit by a shark twice?" said Adler.

Doctors said their most immediate concern will be the risk of infection, and they'll be monitoring him very closely.

The size and type of shark were not immediately known.

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