Josh Bitner Jr. is one 12-year-old you don't want to mess with. After being attacked by a shark in the shallow water of Fernandina Beach Sunday afternoon, the boy lifted the shark from the water, punched it in the head and yelled until nearby adults were able to drag him to the shore.
"I grabbed its top fin and lifted it out of the water and punched it,” Bitner said to the Florida Times Union
. “It was just instinct. If something is turning me around and hurting me, then I’m going to punch it.”
According to the Time Union, the boy, who is a native of Sparks, Georgia, is currently being treated at UF Health Jacksonville for the bite to his leg.
This shark attack was the first to occur at Fernandina Beach this year, but marks the 17th for Florida as a whole, according to the International Shark Attack File
. There have been 717 confirmed shark attacks in Florida since 1882.
Bitner isn't the only young boy to suffer a shark attack on Florida shores: In June, 11-year-old Lucas Vertullo of Winter Springs was bitten
on the calf by what authorities believe was a juvenile bull shark.
Nor was he the only person to fend off a shark with his fists. In May, UCF student Josh Green dissuaded a shark from munching on his ankle with a series of swift punches
to the snout.