14-Year-Old Boy Survives Shark Attack After Diving into Ocean

 14-Year-Old Boy Survives Shark Attack After Diving into Ocean

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A teen faced a terrifying ordeal when he was bitten by a shark at a local Florida beach. Dempsey Manhart, 14, was attending a junior lifeguard training camp at a Volusia County Beach when he was attacked by a shark in Ponce Inlet on Monday, July 8, according to local Fox affiliate WOFL.

The incident occurred around 11:15 a.m. local time, as confirmed by a spokesperson for Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue to PEOPLE. The spokesperson detailed that Manhart, from Flagler County, was “entering the water when he was bit on the right calf.” Witnesses reported that “he was diving into the water when he landed on the shark,” leading to the bite.

“The boy was treated on scene and released to a custodian who took him to the hospital in a privately owned vehicle with non-life-threatening lacerations,” the spokesperson added. Manhart recounted the harrowing event to WOFL, initially thinking he had collided with another person in the water. “I dove onto it, and I hit the shark. I hit it with my hands, and then I stood up, and it spun around and was like underneath my legs.

And I think it bit me then when it was wrapped around my feet,” he explained. “When it came under my feet, I was hitting it, and then it swam away.” Witnesses described the shark as being four to five feet long, according to CBS affiliate WKMG. The bite on Manhart’s calf required 17 stitches. Despite the frightening encounter, the teen remains undeterred. “If it’s happened once, I doubt it’s going to happen again. So, I don’t think there’s really anything to be scared of,” Manhart told WOFL.

The Volusia County Junior Lifeguard Program, which began in 1990, focuses on “education in water safety, lifesaving techniques, and beach ecology,” aiming to provide participants with the skills needed to become confident and efficient lifeguards, as noted on the program’s website.

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