Surfer bitten by shark skips hospital trip to brag about attack at a bar
Jeremiah Rodriguez, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, July 29, 2019 11:40AM EDT
Nobody enjoys waiting in an emergency room but if you’re bitten by a shark, you might want to immediately head to the hospital.
But this wasn’t the case for one professional surfer who made a brief -- non-medical -- pit stop after his own encounter with a shark on Saturday.
Frank O'Rourke was bitten by a shark -- likely a Blacktip -- just off the coast of Jacksonville Beach, Fla. But instead of immediately going to the hospital, he went to a nearby bar to brag about the attack, WJXT reported.
Video captured by Surfline.ca showed O’Rourke struggling to stay above water.
“I was waiting for a wave and all of a sudden a shark comes out of the water and grabs onto my arm,” the 23-year-old told ABC News. “He kind of just clamped onto my arm.”
Although he managed to break free, O’Rourke’s friend Tony Warren was shocked and told ABC News, “the next thing you know, the lifeguard truck goes flying down the beach and patched our buddy up.”
O’Rourke’s friend and fellow surfer RJ Berger saw the whole attack too and told WJXT his friend didn’t go to the hospital despite thinking he could’ve used a stitch or two.
"He immediately went to a bar because he was like, ‘Hey I got bit by a shark,’” Berger told the TV station. “And people were like, ‘I'll buy you drinks.’ So he hung out at the pier."
O’Rourke told First Coast News he’d be returning to the water after his wounds heal and said "I'm very lucky that I still have an arm.”
He’s been surfing for two decades and has seen sharks by the pier before but has never been bitten before.
Despite his friend’s ordeal, Berger said it wouldn’t stop him from surfing because "it's inevitable. It’s going to happen … there's nothing much you can do to really stop that, so try not to worry about it."
O’Rourke took to Instagram to say how grateful he was to only “come away with minor injuries.” He also thanked Berger and his other friends for their “kind words and love.”
ABC News also reported this wasn’t the only shark attack in Florida that day.
About 160 kilometres south of O’Rourke’s encounter, William Angell, 49, was bitten in the thigh while he was boogie boarding at New Smyrna Beach in Florida.