Surfer survives St Augustine Beach shark attack


Around noon today, a 37-year-old St Augustine man was taken to the hospital after being apparently bitten by a shark off St Augustine Beach near “E” Street, according to a report received by Historic City News this afternoon.

St Johns Sheriff’s Deputy Bo Strange arrived at the scene to find Andrew Birchall, who lives on Whispering Oaks Circle, shortly before lifeguards arrived.

Birchall told Strange that he was in the ocean surfing. He had just finished riding a wave, when what he believes was a shark, bit down on his foot and pulled; but then released him. Birchall said that he never clearly saw the shark.

The victim’s injuries included lacerations to his toes and the lateral portion of the top of his foot, according to the incident report. Officials said they observed “teeth marks” in a semi-circular pattern on the bottom of the victim’s foot.

Strange assisted with emergency first aid, applying pressure to a towel wrapped around the victim’s foot, elevating his leg, and loading him into the Marine Rescue vehicle before he was transported to Flagler Hospital.

Birchall is expected to make a full recovery. The shark was not charged in the incident.

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