Boy, 13, attacked after coming face-to-face with shark

Fischer Hricko, 13, needed at least 10 stitches on his upper lip after he was bitten by what is...
Fischer Hricko, 13, needed at least 10 stitches on his upper lip after he was bitten by what is believed to have been a nurse shark, a species that’s usually known to be docile and not a threat to humans.(Source: Hricko Family, WKMG via CNN)
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 12:43 AM MST
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OVIEDO, Fla. (WKMG) - A 13-year-old boy and his family faced a terrifying experience while vacationing in Florida when a shark attacked the teenager, biting his lip.

Lobstering in the Florida Keys is tradition for the Hricko family. Fischer Hricko, 13, his dad and the rest of his family took their boat out on the water July 27 with the goal of catching as many of the crustaceans as they could.

WARNING: Video included in this story may contain disturbing content.

On the prowl with his net in hand, Fischer says he snagged a lobster underwater.

“On my way up, I felt a little nudge on the back of my leg, so I turned around, thinking it was someone or something like that,” he said.

But what the 13-year-old saw wasn’t at all what he expected.

“I turned around, and there’s a shark, like, right here,” he said.

The shark that Fischer says was right in front of his face instantly latched onto his mouth, biting his lip.

“It was scary. I tried getting away, but it was so fast,” the teenager said.

Fischer says he grabbed the shark and pulled it from his face.

“Then, I just swam as fast as I could back to the boat, screaming,” he said.

It was a terrifying moment for both Fischer and his parents.

“I started swimming back to him as quickly as I could,” said his father, Kent Hricko. “When I’m approaching him, I’m just seeing blood gushing out of his face, and at that point, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh. What happened?’”

In a team effort, Fischer’s family got him back on the boat and rushed to shore. They drove him to an urgent care clinic, where he got at least 10 stitches on his upper lip.

“He was definitely scared, definitely shocked, a little bit of crying but not much. He was being tough,” Kent Hricko said.

After just one night spent recovering, Fischer was ready for more, refusing to let the scary experience ruin his family trip.

“You gotta always stay positive,” he said.

But instead of catching lobsters, he had his eyes set on using a hook to catch a shark. He managed to get a hook in a shark that was at least 4 feet long, but he was unable to reel it in. Regardless, he believes it was a good way to end his family trip.

“Fischer’s going to have a cool story to tell when he goes back to school,” Kent Hricko said.

For now, Fischer can’t go back in the water while his lip is healing, but the 13-year-old says that as soon as he recovers, he plans to do so.

It’s believed the shark that bit Fischer was a nurse shark, a species that’s usually known to be docile and not a threat to humans.

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