Man Bitten in the Face by Shark While Surfing at Beach Known as the 'Shark Bite Capital of the World'

Mark Summerset, of South Carolina, had just come off his surfboard near the New Smyrna Beach Jetty when the shark nipped at his face, authorities said

<p>Getty</p> New Smyrna Beach, Florida


New Smyrna Beach, Florida

A surfer from South Carolina was bitten in the face by a shark in an area commonly known as the “Shark Bite Capital of the World."

Mark Summerset, 38, was surfing early on Tuesday morning in Florida near the New Smyrna Beach jetty when he jumped off his board and was bitten in the face by what officials believe was a spinner shark, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Ocean Rescue Capt. Alex Miller said that the creature nipped at his face, per the newspaper.

"He did not see what it was but the assumption was that it was a shark," Miller told the outlet.

Related: 12-Year-Old Survives Shark Attack While Swimming at Florida Beach

Summerset had a nearly 2-inch laceration near his right cheek, NBC affiliate WESH-TV reported.

He was taken to Halifax Health, a level-two trauma center, according to the station, and was released shortly afterwards.

A representative from Beach Safety Ocean Rescue in Volusia County did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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Other surfers and swimmers in the area reported shark activity at the time — a common occurrence given the amount of bait fish in the area near the jetty, per WESH.

“Nine out of 10 times it’s because (the surfer will) fall in the shallow water, and they’ll spook the shark, and it’s a reaction bite,” Ron Robinson, a longtime surfer in the area, told the station.

The incident is the seventh shark attack in the area this year, according to CBS affiliate WKMG-TV.

From 2010 until Jan. 13, 2023, 32 shark attacks have occurred in the area, per The Daytona Beach News-Journal, earning the beach top billing on Travel Lens’ list of America’s 10 “deadliest” beaches to visit.

Related: Woman, 65, Has 'Permanent Disability' After Being Attacked by Shark at N.Y.C. Beach, Family Says

As for how to avoid attacks, Experts previously told PEOPLE that shark bites can be mitigated if swimmers and other water-goers swim near lifeguard stations, do research on the area if there are no lifeguards, and avoid going into the water at the hours of dusk and dawn.

"They don't want to attack in the sense of a serial killer or a murderer," said Wyatt Werneth — a lifeguard of 28 years and a public service spokesperson for the American Lifeguard Association.

According to The Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File, of the 108 alleged shark-human interactions worldwide in 2022, 57 were confirmed as unprovoked shark bites on humans and 32 provoked bites.

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