The Pasco County Sheriff's Office urged water enthusiasts to exercise caution after they released a video on Facebook that shows an aerial view of dozens of sharks on Florida's Gulf coast. This is what the agency said in the Facebook post: “A day in the water is a fun way to beat our Florida heat, but it’s important to be aware of the dangers below the water as well as above.”
Although the post did not specify what type of sharks they were, the New York Post suggests that these sharks could likely be Blacktip sharks as they have been known to frequent the Florida waters in previous years. Per reports, there have been 23 attacks by blacktip sharks in Florida since 2006 with the last one occurring in 2020.
This is how Oceana describes the Blacktip shark: "Blacktip sharks live in coastal waters off beaches, over coral reefs, and in bays and estuaries. They are a migratory species and usually aggregate in small schools segregated by gender. On average, blacktip sharks grow to about 5.5 feet (1.7 m) long and 55 pounds (25 kg) with females growing larger than males."
Blacktip sharks live in coastal waters off beaches and are considered near threatened with extinction as a result of overfishing and habitat destruction.
The Pasco County Sheriff's Department offers the following tips to stay safe in the water:
- Be cautious of your surroundings
- Learn to swim and always swim with a buddy
- Keep a fully charged phone and first aid kit close by for emergencies
- Never leave children unattended in or near water