|Shark Attacks 2nd Teen Off Fla. Panhandle|
Posted by on June 27, 2005 at 18:28:54:|
PANAMA CITY, Fla. - A boy fishing in waist-deep water Monday was bitten and critically injured in the second shark attack on a teenager along the Florida Panhandle in three days.
Craig A. Hutto, 16, of
The boy was attacked off Cape San Blas, a popular vacation destination about 80 miles southeast of the Destin area, where Jamie Marie Daigle of Gonzales, La., was killed by a shark on Saturday. She was 14.
The boy was fishing with two friends when the shark bit him in the right thigh, nearly severing his leg, Gulf County Sheriff's Capt. Bobby Plair said.
The three then tried to wrestle the shark off the boy, hitting it in the nose several times. The teen was pulled ashore by his friends, and a doctor who happened to be nearby began treatment before the boy was taken to the hospital, Plair said.
"It got the main arteries in the right leg," Plair said, adding that the boy lost a large amount of blood. The shark was about 6 to 8 feet long, Plair said, citing witnesses.
Gulf County has no lifeguards on any of its beaches, he said. Officials closed the county's beaches until late Tuesday morning.
On Saturday, Daigle had been swimming on a boogie board with a friend about 100 yards from shore when a shark tore away the flesh on one leg from her hip to her knee.
Erich Ritter of the Shark Attack Institute said the girl was probably attacked by a 6-foot bull shark, based on measurements of the bite wound. He said it was unlikely the same shark was responsible for Monday's attack.
After Saturday's attack, a 20-mile stretch of shore was closed to swimmers, but beaches reopened Sunday with a double staff of sheriff's beach patrol officers. On Monday, off-duty deputies were called in to beef up beach patrols and watch for sharks from the air and the water.
Florida averaged more than 30 shark attacks a year from 2000 to 2003, but there were only 12 attacks off the state's coast last year, according to figures compiled by the American Elasmobranch Society and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
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