College Student 'Blindsided' by Shark Bite While Fishing — One of 2 Florida Attacks in Less Than 36 Hours

A second man was attacked by a shark less than 36 hours after Kevin Blanco, 20, got bitten in the leg on Thursday, according to officials

Good Morning America
Good Morning America

A college student on the road to recovery is one of two men to to be bitten by sharks in Florida in less than 36 hours.

Kevin Blanco, a 20-year-old from Miami-Dade County, was spearfishing with friends in Marathon on Thursday afternoon when the attack occurred, according to a statement shared by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office (MCSO).

Blanco was about 70 feet under water at the time, according to CBS affiliate WFOR-TV and ABC affiliate WPLG. He said he was bitten twice on his left leg by what he believes was a 500-lb. bull shark, WFOR-TV reported.

"I just got blindsided...I don't really remember the pain, but I remember the pressure and the force that he hit my leg with," Kevin said, per WFOR-TV and NBC affiliate WTVJ. "It felt like I got hit by an F-150."

Related:13-Year-Old Girl Recalls Fighting Off Shark After Being Bitten in Arms, Leg and Stomach

Friend Danny Maduro, who witnessed the attack, told WTVJ that he "was in major shock," but quickly "went into survival mode" to help his injured friend.

In an interview from his hospital bed, Blanco told Good Morning America that after getting back on the boat he "took off my weight belt [and] tied it across my leg as a tourniquet."

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Meanwhile, another individual called 911, according to WPLG. The caller begged the dispatcher to send someone out as fast as possible, saying that the victim was "bleeding really bad" and had "a really big gash" in his thigh."

Kevin was transported via private boat to the Sunset Grille & Raw Bar, and later airlifted to Jackson South Medical Center in Miami for treatment, according to the MCSO's statement.

The Trauma Star helicopter landed on the Seven Mile Bridge in order to complete the rescue, the sheriff's office added.

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Doctors said Blanco is lucky that the bite missed a major artery, which was inches away from the bite, WFOR-TV reported.

"It was a situation that could have turned very very bad," said Kevin's father, Omar Blanco, per WPLG.

Omar also praised Maduro for his efforts to save Kevin's life. "I hardly know Danny, who I consider a hero," said Kevin's father, who is also a captain with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, according to WFOR-TV. "What he did was miraculous."

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Less than 36 hours later, a 35-year-old man was bitten in the foot by a shark while fishing off a dock on Flagship Drive in Summerland Key, according to a separate statement from the MCSO.

"The shark was reportedly out of the water and on the dock when it bit the angler," the sheriff's office said on Saturday.

The second victim was also flown to Jackson South Medical Center in Miami via Trauma Star following the bite. Additional information about his condition is not known.

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