Alvaro Ordonez, a Miami dentist, was spearfishing when a bull shark attacked him, injuring his hand and arm. Months later, a 6-foot shark bit Salvador Ruiz, a charter boat captain and fishing guide, on his leg while he was snorkeling.
They are among 20 people who have been attacked by sharks this year in Florida and in the Bahamas.
"Florida is actually the shark bite capital of the world where you actually have off of the coast more bites on people than anywhere else," said Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, the director of the University of Miami's Shark and Research Conservation program.
Hammerschlag says people often don't notice the presence of sharks.
"There are many occasions when people are in the water with sharks are around them and they don't know about it and the sharks are pretty much ignoring them," he said.
Although the number of shark bites dropped in Florida last year, 50 percent of the nation's unprovoked shark bites happened in the state.
Volusia County, home to Daytona Beach, has historically reported more shark bites than any other place in the state.
"That's an area where there's a lot of surfing taking place, there's a lot of bait fish in the water, the water isn't very clear," Hammerschlag said.
The International Shark Attack File tracks shark bites and found over the last decade most happen between July and September. Most of the people bitten were surfing, paddle boarding or swimming.
"If you see a shark in the water and you're bathing, I would calmly just walk out of the water," Hammerschlag said.
Hammerschlag also has these recommendations:
- Don't swim alone.
- Stay close to shore.
- Don't swim at dusk or dawn.
- Stay away from schools of fish and areas where people are fishing.
- Avoid wearing jewelry and bright colors.
- Avoid excessive splashing.
Experts say people should fight back if attacked - going after the sharks' eyes or nose.