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Wounded NJ teen says shark bit him in Fla.

Tuesday - 8/13/2013, 7:00pm  ET

RANDOLPH, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey teenager is recovering at home from wounds he suffered when he was bitten by what he believes was a shark while on vacation in Florida.

Christian Mercurio of Randolph said he was fishing in waist-high water off Sanibel, Fla., a week ago when his legs and feet were seized.

"It felt like my feet were crushed by cement," he told WNBC-TV in New York (http://bit.ly/17kWq5e ).

Mercurio said his mother initially thought he was joking when he began screaming for help.

His mother, Lisa, a registered nurse, elevated his legs and wrapped them in towels.

"Luckily, people on the beach started throwing us the beach towels," she said.

The teeth missed major arteries, but left wounds on his right leg and left foot, the TV station's footage showed.

Investigators in Florida believe a 6- to 8-foot bull shark mistook Mercurio for a fish in the murky water, the family said.

"It's still surreal," said Lisa Mercurio. "It's definitely still shock. He spent the week watching 'Shark Week.' I spent the week with nightmares."

Christian's friends in high school, where he will be a senior, have started giving nicknames -- including Shark Boy and Shark Bait, the TV station said.


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