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South Beach Shark Attack May Not Have Actually Involved Shark

Tales of the great South Beach Shark Attack of 2012 are already swimming around social media, but there's actually no proof yet that the thing involved was necessarily a shark.

The incident happened earlier this afternoon in the waters behind the W Hotel on 23rd Street and Collins Avenue. A man who was at the beach with his family was wading in the waters when he was surrounded by a school of tarpon and then was bitten in the back of the leg by, well, something.


CBS Miami is going with the rather dramatic headline, "Shark Chomps Down On Man's Calf Behind South Beach Hotel." That story was last updated at 4:40 p.m.

Miami Beach Fire Department spokespeople have since given other media outlets a less sensational story.

"He felt it -- he was looking at what he said was a school of tarpon and all of a sudden [he was bitten]," MBFD spokesmen Adonis Garcia told Huffington Post Miami. "We're assuming it was either a small shark or barracuda, but that's an assumption."

Another member of the MBFD tells NBC Miami that there were no shark sitings on the beach before or after the incident, but the size of the bite means that a small shark could possibly be the culprit. However, shark bites in the waters off of Miami Beach have been historically rare.

Anyway, the victim was helped out of the water by other beachgoers who then applied first aid. He was admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital and is listed in stable condition. He has not yet been identified.

Update: WSVN's Alex DiPrato has a picture of the sort-of bloody aftermath.

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