The waves smashing on the Surfside shore usually provide relief on a hot sunny day, but a fifteen year old boy's dip in the water here ended with a trip in a medical helicopter, thanks to a rare encounter with a shark.
"I think he last time we had a shark bite was twenty years ago," said Suandra Monnat, with the Surfside Police Department and Emergency Medical Service.
Hours after the bite, beachgoers were still surprised to hear it had happened.
"I never worry about that in Texas," said Taylor Cervantes, 17. "I don't know. You don't hear about it often, but it's really scary."
The teenager was swimming in waist deep water with friends from a church group when the shark showed up.
He's now in stable condition at a Houston hospital.
Monnat was the first medic on the scene.
"He was a trooper," she said. " This kid felt the shark bite his calf and then literally grabbed the shark and tore it off of him, which is how he got the lacerations on his hand."
Over at the police department, officers talked about the teenager's courage.
"He had to get it off him some way and that was probably the best way to do it," said Assistant Chief Gregg Bisso.
Bisso admitted he doesn't know how he would have reacted if he had encountered the fish, but Cervantes knew.
"I would freak out," she said. " That's why I don't go too far out."
Shark encounters are not a common occurrence here
"The most serious injury we get down here is usually a jelly fish sting," Bisso said.
Still, first responders offered a bit of advice for visitors.
"Try not to swim near fishermen," Monnat said. " That's one thing because they have all their bait around them, and if you see something suspicious get out of the water."