Swimmers beware. Last week, a sewage leak in Miami waters came with a heightened infection risk for anyone swimming in the area. The following Saturday, a shark attack off Crandon Beach left a man bloodied and hospitalized in Miami to this day.
Swimming in warm waters always comes with a certain amount of risks. But could these two incidents off the Miami coastline be connected?
For obvious reasons, you should avoid sewage-polluted waters. But there may more than bacteria lurking beneath the surface. The Florida Museum of Natural History reports that in order to avoid a shark attack, you should not go into waters containing sewage. Sewage attracts baitfish, and baitfish attract sharks.
The Miami Herald reported last year that pollution doesn’t always repel sharks, instead, it can create a "new ecosystem" that attracts small sealife like shrimp and baitfish for the sharks to eat.
You can see the affected areas from the sewage leak in the video below:
Could it be that this "new ecosystem" is a contributing factor to last weekend's shark attack? Quite possibly.
According to Local 10 News, a man was diving off Crandon Beach when a shark suddenly attacked him. The victim crawled onto a nearby charter boat, bleeding heavily and calling out for help.
Crandon Beach has been under a no-swim advisory since last week's sewage leak due to the heightened prevalence of bacteria, along with Haulover Beach. Residents have been cautioned against swimming due to infection risk.
You can watch the diver being loaded into an ambulance below:
The sewage-polluted waters off Crandon Beach may have drawn prey to the area, attracting the shark that bit the diver. The shark may not have been there if not for the suddenly flourishing ecosystem of food.
Typically, sharks are not aggressive toward people, but the presence of prey can alter their behavior.
The no-swim advisory is still in effect for Crandon and Haulover Beach. Additional beaches in Miami-Dade County are currently reported to have poor conditions.
Check here for updates on no-swim advisories in Miami.