Girl, 15, loses leg after being attacked by a shark while scalloping in 5ft-deep water in Florida

Girl, 15, loses leg after being attacked by a shark while scalloping in 5ft-deep water in Florida



A teenage girl lost her leg after being attacked by a shark while she was scalloping in five-foot deep water and was saved by a family member who jumped in and beat the animal off her.

The 15-year-old, whose has not been identified, was attacked near Grassy Island, off Keaton Beach in Taylor County.

Her injuries were so severe she had to be airlifted to a hospital in Tallahassee, about 80 miles northwest of Keaton Beach, the sheriff’s office said.

She had surgery and is expected to survive, Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett told CBS News.

The young woman was scalloping in waters that officials said were approximately 5 feet deep when she was bit by the shark. It was unclear what type of shark it was.

The sheriff’s office said ‘swimmers and scallopers are cautioned to be alert, vigilant, and practice shark safety.’

Critical rules beachgoers need to follow include is to never swim alone. Not to enter the waters near fishermen, notably sandbars, where sharks often like to congregate.

Swimmers are also advised not to swim near large schools of fish, and to avoid erratic movements while in the water.

On June 22, a 62-year-old man suffered ‘major injuries to his stomach and leg’ at Lovers Point Beach in Monterey Bay, California, located in Pacific Grove, north of the city of Monterey.

The man identified as Steve Bruemmer, was attacked by the shark around 11 am.

He was rushed to Natividad Medical Center where he was reported not to have suffered any damage to his arteries or organs.

Bruemmer, a triathlete, told NBC Bay News that he has been swimming in the bay at least twice a week for the past 10 years.

A nurse and police officer, who were paddle boarding nearby, and a surfer teaching a safety class on the beach, heard the swimmer’s cries for help and rushed to his aid.

Bruemmer, grateful to have survived, expressed gratitude for the good samaritans life-saving actions.

In a statement released by the hospital, a day after the attack Bruemmer said: ‘the shark bite was unlucky. But after that, I have just had so much good luck.’

Tracking Sharks is a site that hosts information on shark attacks across the globe that provides information on the reason why shark attacks occur, and offers ways to prevent negative shark encounters in the future.

As of July 1, there have been 32 shark attack bites (3 provoked), 4 fatal attacks, that were publicly reported and verified in 2022, according to the site.

Fifteen of the shark attacks took place in the United States (Hawaii 0, Florida 9, California 1), 9 in Australia (1 fatal), according to Tracking Sharks.

If a person encounters a shark when in the water, experts recommend remaining still still and not to swim away.

If the shark does attack, experts recommend punching the shark with all their might in the nose, due to their sensitivity. In most cases, experts says, that will drive the shark away.

They also advise that if a shark is circling around someone in the water and does not seem to be of immediate threat, they key is to remain still and vigilant until it swims away.

Florida has topped the global charts for for shark bites and accounts for nearly 40 percent of unprovoked shark bites worldwide, according to The International Shark File (ISAF).

The ISAF that is based out of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida, is ‘the only global scientifically verified database of shark attacks,’ according to its website. Since its inception in 1958, there are now more than 6,800 individual investigations covering the period from the early 1500s to the present, the ISAF reported.

Volusia County in Florida is considered the Shark Bite Capital of the World, had the most shark bites (17), accounting for 63% of all Florida attacks, according the ISAF.

Florida’s 28 cases represent 60% of the U.S. total and 38% of unprovoked bites worldwide. This is consistent with Florida’s most recent five-year annual average of 25 incidents.

Lead Image: Signage is placed along many of the Florida beaches warning swimmers, surfers, to ‘know your risk when entering the water.’ Florida has topped the global charts for for shark bites and accounts for nearly 40% of unprovoked shark bites worldwide, according to The International Shark File (ISAF).


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