Surfer ‘having nightmares’ following shark bite requiring 50 stitches

A surfer recalls surviving a shark bite in the waters off of the Florida coast. (Source: WPTV, MATT PICARELLI, CNN)
Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 1:22 PM MST
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FORT PIERCE, Fla. (WPTV) - A surfer in Florida says a shark bit him while in the water near Pepper Park Beach over the previous weekend.

“It was a big animal, and it took a chomp out of my foot,” Matt Picarelli said. “And it immediately left.”

Picarelli said he rushed out of the water as others helped him.

“It was bleeding everywhere. So, I had a bunch of strangers helping me out, giving me water and putting pressure on the wound,” Picarelli said.

The Florida surfer said his wound needed 50 stitches once at the hospital. He also suffered a broken tendon.

“It didn’t look good,” Picarelli said.

Now, he’s recovering from the physical wounds but said the bite keeps replaying in his mind.

“I’ve been having nightmares about it with sharks coming towards me and biting me, attacking me,” Picarelli said.

The surfer said everyone in the ocean knows about the dangers of sharks but he is staying optimistic while planning to return to the water.

“I’ve surfed my entire life. I love the ocean. So, I don’t see myself not going back in after this,” Picarelli said.