July 10 (UPI) -- Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Erika Benitez said a bull shark bit a swimmer in Haulover Beach, which is about 8 miles north of Miami Beach.
Benitez said the attack Sunday occurred as the victim was attempting to leave the water after lifeguards told beachgoers to evacuate the beach when they "became aware of the shark lurking in the water."
"Immediately, the lifeguards alerted people in the water by blowing their whistles, and gesturing for everyone to get out of the water," Benitez told reporters.
The victim, who was not identified, was hospitalized in the Aventura Hospital with injuries to his lower limbs. Benitez said the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
"In the process of exiting the water, a beachgoer was bitten in the lower extremities by what appeared to be a 4- to 5-foot bull shark," Benitez said. "The person was able to get out of the water, and [Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department] Ocean Rescue lifeguards immediately rendered assistance."
Matt Sparling, a Miami-Dade lifeguard, said it is the first time a shark has bitten someone in Haulover Beach.
"Although these incidents are rare, we still ask beachgoers to always be aware of their surroundings," Sparling said. "Always swim near manned lifeguard towers and be sure to always heed all warnings issued by lifeguards."