NJ teen fights off bull-shark attack during Florida vacation

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A New Jersey teenager is lucky to be alive after a bull shark attacked him while he was in Florida.

“I have a large puncture wound that left a hole this big and underneath that. I have three little tiny teeth marks,” said Christian Mercurio.

17-year-old Christian Mercurio had the scare of his life while fishing on the shore.

“I felt like I was being bitten by something so I just kicked whatever it was and it bit my left foot,” said Mercurio.

A worst nightmare come true. Mercurio was being attacked by a shark.

The Randolph, New Jersey teen was on vacation with his family in Sanibel Island, Florida when he felt the shark bite him and pull him. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. It’s a feeling he can’t shake.

“It’s like a large amount of pressure, it feels like cinder blocks are falling on your legs,” said Mercurio.

“I just ripped my leg out of the sharks mouth and started running to shore.”

“I just wanted to make sure he was safe and not bleeding and then it started to sink in.”

Thankfully, Christian’s mother, Lisa, is a nurse who likely saved her son’s life and limbs by quickly wrapping him up.

“We realized when got to the hospital we were pretty lucky,” said Lisa Mercurio.

The family said it was a bull shark about six to eight feet long. Mercurio can’t walk right now, but that’s not what he’s focusing on. He’s also not giving up the water or fishing because of his brush with death.

“So many things could have gone wrong, I could have lost my foot or arm ore life, I’m just really glad that I’m still alive and with my family,” said Mercurio.

He has a lot of recovery before he can walk again.


  • thetrueanalyst

    I’m extremely glad that he is okay! I frequent Florida waters, and have actually spent an entire week on a sailing expedition in the Keys. At the beach I’m at now, Bulls patrol parallel to the beach less than 100 yards off-shore where the depth suddenly drops from ten to twenty feet. This is one of my greatest fears regarding a rip current, being pulled beyond that point, because Bull Sharks are nuts. I’ve encountered aggressive Barracudas and they are bad enough, but Bull Sharks are one of those species that regularly attacks anything in their way. A bangstick is a worthwhile investment in waters frequented by them.

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