When a 23-year-old professional surfer got bitten by a shark, he knew exactly what to do next. While most people would probably rush themselves to the nearest hospital or urgent care clinic, Frank O’Rourke transported himself to the bar closest to Jacksonville Beach, where he proceeded to enjoy free drinks from all the locals.
Because the shark bite occurred on Saturday afternoon and left a bloody gash across Frank’s arm, he was ready to cash in the war injury and have a great night that Saturday.
Although he admits that he is “lucky to still have an arm,” he didn’t think the injury required medical treatment. Instead, he used it as a free-drink pass at the Jacksonville Beach bar. He showed everyone who was interested, exactly what happened to his arm after the shark mistook him for a seal and attacked him while he was out surfing the waters.
O’Rourke said that “You can see the jawline. There’s still blood on my surfboard.”
He also added, “You’re more likely to get struck by lightning. I’m going to buy a lottery ticket.”
Frank O’Rourke was only twenty yards from the pier when the shark, which is believed to be either a spinner or blacktip, latched onto his arm. Footage shows the moment when the shark attacked and pulled the professional surfer from his board.
Eyewitnesses were horrified. R.J. Berger (above), a person who saw it happen, told News4Jax: “It was kind of panic. Like, ‘Did that just happen?’ It kind of took him a couple of seconds to, like, gather himself and realize, like, ‘Wow, I just got bit by a shark.’ And then we all went into the beach. He immediately went to a bar ’cause he was like, ‘I got bit by a shark’ and people were like, ‘I’ll buy you drinks.’ So he went and hung out at the pier.”
The shark was not exceptionally large. It was estimated to be about three or four feet long. After the shark thrashed with the surfer for as long as thirty seconds, the shark released its grip on his arm and swam away.
Lifeguards wrapped O’Rourke’s injury in bandages. He told WJXX: “Craziest thing to have happened to me in my life. I felt something jump out of the water and latch onto my arm by my elbow. It just grabbed onto me and thrashed in the water and swam away. I’m very lucky that I still have an arm. You can see the jawline, like where the jawline is of the shark. There’s still blood on my surfboard.”
Although O’Rourke has surfed the area for two decades, it is the first time he has been bitten by a shark.
“They’re usually swimming and doing their own thing. This shark just came out of nowhere. It just came out of the water and grabbed me as it wanted me. If it’s your time, it’s your time. If the (sharks) want you, they want you. You’re more likely to get struck by lightning than killed by a shark. I’m going to buy a lottery ticket.”
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