Child bit by shark in Cocoa Beach

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A young boy is recovering after being bit by a shark in the water at Cocoa Beach over the weekend.

Officials said he was playing in the water around 11 a.m., and was only waist-deep when it happened- a five-foot-long bull shark bit his right calf.

Stephanie Yelenosky was surfing nearby at the time, and said she saw the shark swimming towards the shore in a wave just before the attack.

"Two big waves came in and on the second big wave, we saw what looked to be a juvenile bull shark," she explained. "It had the dark gray with the black tips, and as we were trying to get our bearings, we saw a group of people- about 15 seconds later -in knee-high water screaming."

Lifeguards spotted the distressed victim in the water and took action.

"Ran out there, saw that he had a bite, [and] carried him out of the water immediately," a lifeguard explained.

They treated him on shore, but his injuries were so severe, he needed to be airlifted to a local hospital.

Emergency responders said his right, lower calf was severely lacerated and bleeding excessively,

"It's one of the worst ones we've seen out here in recent years," they said.

Lifeguards banned all swimming in the ocean behind Lori Wilson Park for more than an hour.

Afterwards, some swimmers returned, although they were a little more wary of the ocean.

"This is shark's territory. We are invading them. We try to be as respectful as we can, and accidents happen, and that's what this was- an unfortunate accident."