Whoever said nurse sharks don’t bite should talk to Ervin McCarty.
McCarty, who’s a resident of Clay County, Florida, was on a fishing trip off Marathon in the Florida Keys over Labor Day when he had a run-in with a nurse shark he won’t soon forget.
The nurse shark actually bit his stomach, latched on and wouldn’t let go no matter what anyone did.
WARNING: Video Contains Graphic and Sensitive Material
The group was out for a day of lobstering and spearfishing when Ervin went to retrieve a grouper that had been speared.
“I turned to go back up for air and something hit me in the stomach,” Ervin said. “I didn’t know if somebody kicked me or what, but whatever hit me was biting on to me.”
Despite the situation, Ervin has to make it several feet back to the surface, and the 2-3 foot nurse shark wasn’t making matters very easy.
“I had to grab it by both hands, keep it from shaking, and get up for air at the same time,” he said.
He recounts that it even attempted to pull him back down in the water.
He finally made it back to the boat after nearly 20 minutes. The struggle left him out of breath and exhausted but he still had to keep it from moving.
Since it wouldn’t let go no matter what they did, they had to resort to stabbing it and letting it bleed out.
The shark did finally let go but it was latched to him for about 30 minutes before they finally got it off.
Nurse sharks don’t have very long teeth, so the wounds weren’t very bad at all, but Ervin still went in for a checkup at the doctor to make sure everything was good and to get a tetanus shot.
Surviving a non-life-threatening shark attack hasn’t scared Ervin away from fishing one bit.
“It hasn’t changed a thing. I will continue to fish,” Ervin says. “I will continue to snorkel — just make sure there is not a nurse shark around!”