By Dan Corcoran
SEBASTIAN, Fla. (WPTV) — Two young men are recovering after two shark bites in just two days in the waters off the Treasure Coast.
The two men, one from Vero Lake Estates and one from West Palm Beach, do not know each other. But it turns out they have a lot in common: they both came face-to-face with sharks off our coastline this week.
All they wanted to do was surf. Brandon Murray, 22, and Brandon Taylor, 21, have the same first name and the same fate after hopping in the water and onto their boards just north of Sebastian Inlet State Park.
“The whole shark. I could just feel the whole body on my arm,” said Taylor. “Pure muscle, just pure muscle.”
On Monday afternoon, Murray was surfing off Spanish House point. As he was about to take his last wave into shore, a 4-foot shark came out of the water with its mouth wide open.
“Right when I turned around the shark just jumped out of the water and spun and just grabbed my foot,” said Murray.
The shark’s teeth caught Murray’s left foot. His ‘pinky’ toe was left hanging on by a thread. “Looks like razor blades from the bottom and in between my toes and all out,” he said.
On Tuesday afternoon, just two miles north, Taylor never saw a shark; he only felt it clamping down on his left arm.
“Out of no where, just under my board, just a lot of pressure,” he said. “It was immediate. I know exactly what happened. I felt the pain,” said Taylor.
Both men know surfing has its risks but never imagined that part of their own bodies would end up in the mouth of a shark.
“It was my own fault, to be honest. I was in their territory,” said Murray. “I was in their ocean.”
Dozens of stitches each, the men want to warn others about what may be lurking in these waves. But neither can wait to get back into the water to surf again.
“You’re taking a risk every time and everyone knows that,” said Taylor.
Lifeguards and park rangers near the Sebastian Inlet had not reported any shark sightings for several weeks.
The last reported bites were in Brevard County on September 4 and May 9 in Vero Beach. The victims in all of these cases are expected to make full recoveries.