Posted by on June 25, 2005 at 23:12:14:
In Reply to: fatal shark attack posted by stephen clark on June 25, 2005 at 17:11:33:
A 14-year-old girl died after a shark attacked her while she anda companion were swimming on boogie boards in Florida.
The teenagers were swimming about 91 metres offshore in the Gulfof Mexico when they noticed a dark shadow in the water, authoritiessaid.
The other swimmer was not injured, Walton County Sheriff'sspokeswoman Donna Shank said.
Tim Dicus, 54, who had been surfing when he heard a scream fromthe water, found the girl in the centre of a bloody circle of waterand said much of her thigh was missing, revealing the bone. Thegirl's friend had begun swimming toward shore.
"I immediately paddled over and found her floating face down inthe centre of the blood pool," Dicus said. "And right next to herwas the shark, about to come up and attack her again."
Dicus said he put the girl on his surf board and the shark -which he said appeared to be a bull shark about 2.4 metres long -went after her hand.
"He just followed us right to the beach," Dicus said, addingthat he punched the shark on the nose when it tried to attack him.
"He was determined to finish lunch. I hate to put it that way,but that was what he was trying to do."
Two other swimmers came with a raft and helped tow the girl toshore.
The girl was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead,Shank said.
She was on vacation from Gonzales, Louisiana, but her name hasnot yet been released.
The attack happened near the Camping on the Gulf Holiday TravelPark, about 72 kilometres east of Pensacola.
Swimmers were ordered out of the water along 32 kilometres ofcrowded beaches shortly after the attack.
Florida averaged more than 30 shark attacks a year from 2000 to2003, but there were only 12 attacks off the state's coast lastyear, according to statistics compiled by the American ElasmobranchSociety and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
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