1. #1
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default Shark Attacks Rise on Florida Panhandle

    Daily News

    Officials: Attacks rare, but be aware of surroundings

    From staff reports

    Emergency personnel say Saturday’s shark attack was extraordinarily rare, not only as the first on the Emerald Coast, but as one of about 26 in the entire state during the past 10 years.

    “We’re all pretty shocked,” said South Walton Fire Chief Les Hallman. “It was really rare.

    “This is something that has never happened in Walton County.” Walton County Sheriff ’s Office Capt. Danny Glidewell said that although another attack can occur again locally, it isn’t very likely.

    Hallman added that Saturday’s attack was especially rare in that the water was clear and it did not occur during typical dusk and dawn feeding hours.

    “If you had asked me if we could have a shark attack, these conditions aren’t what I would have envisioned,” he said.

    But officials say there are things swimmers can do to avoid an attack.

    “The Gulf of Mexico isn’t a swimming pool. Sharks are natural to the environment,” Hallman said. “The Gulf of Mexico is a safe place to swim — you just have to be aware of your surroundings.” Anytime there are schools of fish or even a person fishing, it’s probably not a good idea to swim near that bait, Hallman said.

    Glidewell added that it is usually safer to swim close to shore.
    Last edited by captstanm1; 07-02-2005 at 09:53 AM.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  2. #2
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default

    Daily News

    SHARK ATTACK

    Girl, 14, dies from bite; Rescuers fend off predator after encounter 250 yards off Walton County shore

    By AMY LEIGH WOMACK Daily News Staff Writer

    SANDESTIN — A 14-yearold Gonzales, La., girl died Saturday after being attacked by a shark while swimming 250 yards offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Beaches in Walton County were closed to swimming under double red flags Saturday as a medical helicopter flew over the water looking for sharks.

    Sheriff ’s office Capt. Danny Glidewell said the girl’s name was being withheld until this morning because her parents wanted to notify extended family members. However, the family’s priest, the Rev. Gary Belsome of St. Thersea of Avila Catholic Church in Gonzales, identified the girl as Jamie Dagle, according to the Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans.

    Saturday started as a beautiful day at the beach behind Camping on the Gulf near Sandestin.

    Authorities say the girl was vacationing at the campground with the family of another 14-year-old girl.

    As the girls swam, the water was clear with very little surf. A green flag flew, signifying a minimal risk of rip currents.

    “The beaches were packed,” said South Walton Fire Chief Les Hallman.

    But just after 11 a.m. Glidewell said the girls saw a large dark object in the water.

    Authorities said a shark pulled one girl under, biting her on the legs. The other girl swam to shore for help, narrowly escaping getting bitten herself.

    Glidewell said a surfer and another man on shore saw the attack and swam to the girl’s aid.

    But as they tried to push the girl onto a surfboard and ferry her to shore, the shark circled and repeatedly tried to attack them as well.

    “They had to hit and kick at it to keep from getting bitten,” Glidewell said.

    When emergency crews arrived, Hallman said bystanders on the beach already were administering CPR.

    Glidewell said the girl later was pronounced dead at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast as a result of extreme trauma to her lower extremities.

    Glidewell said it was possible the girls didn’t know how far they had drifted because Hurricane Ivan destroyed Walton’s second sandbar last September.

    “(People have) always been told not to go past the second sandbar,” he said.

    Hallman said predator fish are known to follow the deep drop-off just past the old sandbar. Following the attack, Hallman said deputies and firefighters patrolled the beach ordering swimmers out of the water.

    “It was such a rare event for us we didn’t want to take any chances,” he said.

    Sacred Heart’s Air Heart helicopter crew was in the air looking for sharks and making announcements over a loud speaker urging swimmers to get out of the water, he added.

    Hallman said the helicopter spotted a large shark swimming eastbound toward Bay County soon after the attack, but there was no way of knowing if it was the same one that killed the girl.

    Emergency crews also spotted three 9-foot bull sharks behind the Crab Trap off Scenic Highway 98 about 4 p.m.

    Okaloosa County Sheriff ’s Office spokeswoman Catherine Dokey said Okaloosa beaches were open Saturday under yellow flags, although there was talk of putting up purple flags.

    Hallman said witnesses said they thought a large bull shark attacked the girl.

    “But there’s no way we can know for sure,” he said, adding bystanders also said they noticed a school of bait fish swimming right before the attack.

    Lawmen say Saturday’s attack was the first ever in Walton, Okaloosa or Santa Rosa counties. They spent much of Saturday talking with shark experts.

    Glidewell said Walton Sheriff Ralph Johnson has decided to reopen beaches today.

    “They’re telling us this is a freak of nature,” he said.

    “But we still urge caution,” Glidewell said. “Don’t swim near schools of bait fish. Swim close to shore.

    “The further out you go, the greater the chance you have of having a bad experience with a shark.”
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  3. #3
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default Calm but watchful eye necessary

    Surf calm after shark attack

    One day after 14-year-old dies, thousands return to Emerald Coast beaches

    By KARI C. BARLOW Daily News Staff Writer

    MIRAMAR BEACH — Sacred Heart Hospital’s Air Heart chopper flew patrols over a sparkling Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, less than 24 hours after a 14-yearold Louisiana girl was killed in a shark attack.

    “There’s been no incidents,” said Walton County Sheriff ’s Capt. Danny Glidewell. “There’s been some (shark) sightings, but there’s sightings every day.” Beaches in South Walton County, which were closed about noon on Saturday, reopened under green and purple flags by 8 a.m. on Sunday Thousands of beachgoers flocked to the calm surf as the Sheriff ’s Office and the South Walton Fire District kept a close watch on the shoreline.

    “We’ve got our boat in the water,” Glidewell said on Sunday afternoon. “We want (swimmers) to enjoy the water, but we want them to exert caution. The closer you stay to shore, the safer you are.” Teenager Jamie Marie Daigle, of Gonzales, La., died Saturday after being attacked by a shark about 250 yards offshore.

    The attack — the first on record along the Emerald Coast — occurred just after 11 a.m. in the waters behind Camping on the Gulf near Sandestin.

    Daigle and another 14-year old girl, Felicia Venable, also of Gonzales, were swimming with boogie boards when a shark bit Daigle on her legs.

    Daigle was pulled under by the creature while Venable swam for help. Venable was not bitten by the shark.

    Surfer Tim Dicus saw the attack and swam to Daigle, pulling her onto his surfboard.

    Dicus said he and two other swimmers fought off the shark, which repeatedly tried to attack them as they put the girl into a blow-up raft.

    He said she had a massive bite to her left thigh.

    “She was never conscious,” said the 54-year-old Dicus.

    “When she bobbed back up, she was facedown in the water.” Authorities say the teenager was pronounced dead at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast as a result of extreme trauma to her lower extremities.

    An autopsy will be per formed on Daigle’s body early today.

    Shark expert Erich Ritter, a behavior specialist with the New Jersey-based Global Shark Attack File, was expected to be present during the autopsy.

    “We’re hoping he can tell us what kind, how big … why this happened,” Glidewell said.

    “Right now we’re really not sure of anything.” Dicus told authorities Daigle was attacked by an 8-foot bull shark, but Glidewell said that has not been confirmed.

    “As a best case, (the autopsy) could shed some light as to why this particular shark did some thing so out of the ordinary,” Glidewell said. “At least, it could give us size and species.” Daigle’s death didn’t keep many swimmers out of the waves on Sunday, but the attack did give them plenty to talk about.

    Beachgoers clumped togeth er in chairs and under umbrel las and tents, discussing details of the attack as well as a few shark sightings reported in the same area early Sunday.

    Along Scenic U.S. Highway 98 in Walton County, satellite news trucks crowded onto the shoulder of the road, holding live television interviews with authorities and tourists.

    Jamie, who lived in Gonzales with her parents, Ronnie and Wendy, had been vacationing at the waterfront campground with her friend’s family.

    News of the girl’s death rocked the small community, which sits between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

    “Everyone’s in shock right now,” said Gonzales Mayor John Berthelot. “The little girl was very popular and went to the local Catholic school. She just graduated from the eighth grade and would have started high school in the fall.” Berthelot said that the girl’s father owns a construction company that often does busi ness with the city of Gonzales.

    “I know her daddy and her granddaddy real well,” he said.

    “They live less than half-a-mile from me. She was a very nice lit tle girl, an excellent student.” The Daigles are parish ioners at St. Theresa of Avila Church in Gonzales.

    “I made it to eight o’clock Mass this morning, and the priest asked everyone to pray for her and the family,” Berthelot said. “It’s just very sad.” As South Walton beaches filled up Sunday afternoon, emergency workers kept a close eye on those who ven tured into the water.

    “We’re monitoring,” said South Walton Fire Chief Les Hallman. “The good thing to see is that people are staying close to shore.” Glidewell said most beach goers realize that Saturday’s attack was an unusual occur rence.

    “The beaches are safe as long as people use caution,” he said. “What happened Saturday was just an unfortunate and tragic freak of nature.” ¸ Daily News North Okaloosa Editor Kelly Humphrey con tributed to this report. Staff Writer Kari C. Barlow can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 432 or karib@nwfdailynews.com
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  4. #4
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default Another Attack

    Teen loses leg in Panhandle's second shark attack in three days

    Associated Press


    PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Doctors amputated a leg of a teenage boy who was attacked by a shark while fishing in waist-deep water off Florida's Panhandle on Monday, two days after a 14-year-old girl died when a shark mutilated her leg at another Panhandle beach, 80 miles away.

    Craig Adam Hutto, 16, of Lebanon, Tenn., was fishing in the surf off Cape San Blas with his brother and a friend when the shark grabbed him in the right thigh, nearly severing the leg, said Capt. Bobby Plair of the Gulf County Sheriff's Office.

    The leg was later amputated at Bay Medical Center in Panama City, Plair said. He was listed in critical condition but he was expected to recover, hospital spokeswoman Christa Hild said.

    Cape San Blas is a narrow spit of land protruding into the Gulf of Mexico from Gulf County, about 80 miles southwest of Tallahassee. Plair said Gulf County has no lifeguards on any of its beaches.

    The cape, a popular vacation destination, is also about 80 miles east of the area where 14-year-old Jamie Marie Daigle was fatally injured Saturday by a shark.

    Gulf County Board of County Commissioners issued a mandatory closure for beaches in the county until 11 a.m. Tuesday.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  5. #5
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default

    Surfer tried to fend off bull shark

    A memorial was created for the 14-year-old girl who died Saturday.



    The Associated Press
    June 27. 2005 6:01AM

    The Associated Press
    A bull shark swims in the waters near visitors to Miramar Beach on Sunday in the Panhandle, one day after a bull shark attacked a 14-year-old girl less than a quarter-mile away
    eaches reopened Sunday with extra lifeguards along a stretch of the Florida Panhandle coast where a shark killed a 14-year-old girl, as coastal residents reported seeing at least one shark hunting fish close to shore.

    Jamie Marie Daigle of Gonzales, La., was swimming on a boogie board with a friend about 100 yards from shore when she was attacked Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico, said Walton County sheriff's Capt. Danny Glidewell. Daigle was vacationing with friends while the rest of her family was home.

    One of the rescuers said he heard screams for help and saw Daigle's boogie board - but no rider. He rushed into the water and found the unconscious girl being towed by a surfer on his board.

    "He was screaming and hollering," said Chris White, a 23-year-old state health inspector and volunteer firefighter from Carrollton, Ga. "He was yelling 'There's a shark, there's a shark.' "

    With help from other swimmers, they brought Daigle to shore in a raft with the shark underfoot.

    "I looked down and he was swimming at my feet," White told The Associated Press on Sunday. "We stopped swimming, just went limp vertical in the water, just dangled my legs, tried not to look like any kind of food or anything."

    Daigle was in an area not protected by sandbars or lifeguards when she was attacked, said the surfer who hauled her onto his board and headed for shore with the shark trailing them.

    "The beach is the beach. Once you get past that second sandbar, you're in the gulf," said Tim Dicus, who pulled Daigle onto his surfboard. "And when you're in the gulf, that's where big fish are. You go way down on the food chain."

    An autopsy was planned for Monday, and a shark expert was invited to attend to help determine the type and size of the shark involved, Glidewell said Sunday.

    After the attack Saturday, a 20-mile stretch of shore was closed to swimmers, with twin red flags warning people to stay out of the water, but beaches reopened Sunday with a double staff of sheriff's beach patrol officers, Glidewell said.

    A makeshift memorial of painted sand dollars, a boogie board and a magnolia was created on the beach where Daigle was brought to shore. Someone wrote in the sand, "Bless U."

    Residents of a condominium complex next to the beach where the girl was attacked said they spotted a shark that looked about 6 feet long Sunday morning.

    "It was just right at the shoreline," said Jason Miller, who lives in a 10th-floor condo. He took pictures of the shark chasing fish while people stood in the white surf.

    Although Daigle and her friend, 14-year-old Felicia Venable, were farther from shore than recommended, it is common for boogie-boarders, surfers and people on personal watercraft to go beyond the two sandbars that separate the shallow beach area from the open gulf, Glidewell said.

    "Our pilots who fly our helicopters have always reported to us that if you look offshore, there's always a large number of sharks - always has been because that's their natural habitat," Glidewell said.

    Dicus, 54, said he heard a scream and saw Venable swimming for shore as fast as she could. Daigle was face down in a bloody circle of water, and the flesh had been torn on one leg from her hip to her knee. The shark, which was right next to her, appeared to be a bull shark about 8 feet long, Dicus said.

    "He just followed us right to the beach," he said. The surfer said he punched the shark on the nose when it tried to attack him.

    On the shore, paramedics were unable to revive the girl.

    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 statistics compiled by the American Elasmobranch Society and the Florida Museum of Natural History.

    George Burgess, curator of the International Shark Attack File at University of Florida, said Sunday that bull sharks are common in the area, are aggressive and can be found in shallow water. He said that of 500 documented attacks in Florida, the fatality rate was 2.4 percent.

    "Sharks are one of many hazards that one may encounter when entering the sea," he said. "There is no reason to think that this is the beginning of a trend
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  6. #6
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default

    Second shark attack victim has more surgery in Florida Panhandle

    BILL KACZOR
    Associated Press Writer
    CAPE SAN BLAS, Fla. — A 16-year-old boy who lost a leg following the second shark attack in three days along the Florida Panhandle was in critical condition Tuesday after undergoing more surgery.

    Craig Adam Hutto, of Lebanon, Tenn., was fishing in waist-deep water about 60 feet from shore with his brother and a friend Monday when the shark grabbed his right thigh, nearly severing the leg, said Capt. Bobby Plair of the Gulf County Sheriff's Office.

    Physicians later amputated the leg. Dr. Reed Finney, a cardiovascular surgeon at Bay Medical Center in Panama City, said Tuesday the limb had suffered irreparable damage to blood vessels and nerves between the hip and knee, as well as to most of the surrounding muscle.

    Doctors operated on Hutto again Tuesday to clean up the area around the wound, hospital spokeswoman Christa Hild said. His condition had stabilized, she said.

    On Saturday, 14-year-old Jamie Marie Daigle died from her injuries after her leg was mutilated by a bull shark about 80 miles away, near Destin.

    The number of shark attacks rises in the summer because that's when the animals come closer to shore to search for food and there are more people at the beach, said John Tyminski, a senior biologist with the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

    "It's a sharky time of year," said Tyminski.

    "When there is a greater number of people in the water with a greater number of sharks ... you will get more collisions," said Samuel Gruber, a professor of marine and atmospheric science at the University of Miami.

    It was too soon to tell if Hutto suffered any brain damage from blood loss, Finney said. In 2001, a 9-year-old Mississippi boy, Jesse Arbogast, suffered severe brain damage from blood loss when a shark tore off his arm as he swam near Pensacola.

    "We're hopeful. He's young, he's healthy. He should be OK, but he's still sick," Finney said of Hutto.

    Doctors said he would probably be out of the hospital in a matter of weeks, and then would start rehabilitation.

    A doctor, some nurses and a paramedic who happened to be nearby on the beach began treatment as soon as the teen was ashore, and that swift action probably saved his life, said Shane McGuffin, Gulf County's medical services director.

    The attack on Hutto was witnessed by Karen Eaker, 42, of Horn Lake, Miss.

    "Within five seconds it was obvious there was something wrong," Eaker said. "We had heard the word 'shark' and then we saw the red water and the tug-of-war going on between the brother and the shark."

    From the beach, Hutto was taken to Panama City's Bay Medical Center, where the leg was amputated. His family members, including the brother who was with him in the surf, declined to comment at the hospital.

    Gulf County's Board of County Commissioners closed the county's beaches Monday, but they were reopened Tuesday after helicopter crews flew over the water to check for sharks. It was raining hard Tuesday, keeping people off the sands.

    Erin Black, a 33-year-old welder visiting from Owensboro, Ky., said Tuesday he and his wife, Heather, were still a bit spooked by the attack he saw.

    "We're going to be here the rest of the week. I mean you can't blame the sharks but ... I don't think I'm going to get back in the water. I'll do my fishing from shore," he said.

    But Adrian Lee, a 54-year-old homemaker from Slaughterville, Ga., said she would be swimming again.

    "We'll just be very cautious and not go out very deep," Lee said.

    There has been no indication that Monday's attack caused any visitors to leave, said Paula Ramsey Pickett, executive director of the Gulf County Tourism Development Council.

    "We think this is definitely an isolated incident, even though the timing was poor considering" the fatal attack on Daigle, she said. The council was passing out a pamphlet to visitors giving tips on avoiding shark attacks.

    Daigle, of Gonzales, La., had been had been swimming with a friend about 100 yards from shore in neighboring Walton County when a shark bit her in the leg. Paramedics and an air ambulance crew were unable to revive her. Destin-area beaches reopened Sunday.

    Florida averaged more than 30 attacks a year from 2000 to 2003, but had only 12 last year, said George Burgess, curator of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He attributed the drop to the four hurricanes that hit Florida last year, keeping residents and visitors away from beaches.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  7. #7
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default Another Attack

    Austrian tourist bitten on ankle by shark in Gulf of Mexico

    BOCA GRANDE, Fla. (AP) -- A shark bit an Austrian tourist on the ankle Friday as he stood in chest-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico, days after another tourist was killed and one seriously injured by sharks elsewhere in the state.

    Armin Trojer, 19, of Baden, Austria, was wading in the water when bitten, said Lee County sheriff's spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi. He was airlifted by helicopter to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, where he was listed in fair condition.

    Trojer underwent surgery Friday evening to repair some ligaments, tendons and blood vessels on his right ankle. Lisa Sgarlata, executive director for emergency services at the hospital, said he was expected to make a "good recovery."

    Witnesses said Trojer was able to limp away from the attack.

    Advertisement




    "People on the beach saw that he was in distress, but first they thought he was clowning around," said Jim Tucker, publisher of the weekly newspaper The Boca Banner. "A woman on the beach, who happened to be a nurse, saw him coming in and saw that he was limping badly and went out to assist him."

    Tucker said Trojer was bitten on the outer edge of the right ankle, leaving his foot intact.

    The nurse "had to keep pressure on it," he said. "As soon as she took pressure off, it spurted."

    The teen remained conscious as paramedics tended to him.

    "He was kind of shaken but not really in shock or anything," Tucker said. "He was talking. He was responding to questions."

    The teen's father, Werner Trojer, also from Baden, Austria, stood by as the medics worked on his son on the beach near Amory Chapel at Gasparilla Island State Park and prepared him for the flight to the hospital.

    "He was calm," Tucker said of the father. "He was mostly just reassuring the kid, talking to him, keeping him calm."

    The type and size of the shark was not immediately known, but LiMarzi said, "Someone else in the water saw a shark." She said paramedics also indicated the wound was consistent with a shark bite.

    Lee County beaches were not closed to swimmers. A sheriff's helicopter was making regular flights along them, but no large number of sharks had been spotted, said sheriff's Deputy Angelo Vaughn.

    "We are out there right now letting people know, notifying people on the beach about what happened," LiMarzi said.

    Part of the state beach, about 85 miles south of Tampa, already had been closed to protect seasonal nests of terns, skimmers and marine turtles, Tucker said.

    Experts believe bull sharks were the attackers in two recent cases in the Florida Panhandle. On Monday, about 280 miles from Friday's attack, a 16-year-old Tennessee boy lost his leg. On Saturday, about 350 miles away, a 14-year-old Louisiana girl was killed.

    Sharks attacks in Florida are relatively rare, with 30 in 2003 among the millions of people who hit the state's beaches. Last year, when four hurricanes kept many visitors away, there were 12 attacks.

    Most attacks are minor bites on the feet or ankles.

    © 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  8. #8
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default

    Shark victim remembers Panhandle attack

    BILL KACZOR

    Associated Press


    PANAMA CITY - Sixteen-year-old Craig Hutto, who lost his right leg in a shark attack, is alert, has a vivid memory of what happened and even has been joking about it, his parents said Thursday.

    Roger and Lou Ann Hutto also credited their oldest son, Brian, 25, and other tourists, including a doctor, three nurses and a paramedic, with saving Craig's life by pulling him from the shark's jaws and preventing further blood loss.

    "Words will never express how grateful we are, how thankful we are," Roger Hutto said. "If it hadn't been for those people, I don't think we would be standing here today."

    Craig was attacked while he and his brother were fishing waist-deep in the Gulf of Mexico about 60 feet from shore Monday. Two days earlier a 14-year-old girl was killed by a shark at another Panhandle beach. She was bitten by a bull shark, the same species suspected in the attack on Craig.

    The boy, a high school baseball and basketball player from Lebanon, Tenn., was listed in stable condition at Bay Medical Center.

    The Huttos said their son has kept his spirits high despite losing his leg and even joked with his mother, an accountant, about their next vacation.

    "He said he didn't want to go to the beach again," she recounted. "I said 'You know Daddy always wants to go out West, so we can go on a ranch.' He said 'Momma, I'll probably get kicked in the head by a horse.' "

    She said he also joked that losing his right leg instead of his left was "one good thing" because he had suffered a severe sprain to his right ankle at a basketball camp.

    The leg had to be amputated because the shark had ripped off most of the muscle, nerves and blood vessels from his thigh, doctors said.

    The teen remained conscious throughout the ordeal until receiving anesthesia for the surgery. He is scheduled for another operation today to repair damage to his hands apparently suffered trying to fend off the shark.

    "He's got a pretty vivid memory of what happened, as we all do," said the teen's father, a lawyer for the Tennessee Department of Safety. "That's something he recognizes he's going to have to deal with."

    Brian Hutto fought off the shark, preventing worse injuries, his mother said.

    "Something bumped him and he immediately kind of backpedaled," Brian Hutto said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America." He then saw the fin and quickly realized it was a shark.

    "I grabbed hold and started going back to shore," he said. "I remember at one point grabbing Craig's arm and I remember hitting (the shark) at least once."

    Mike Jones of Tallahassee was the first person to go out and help Brian Hutto fend off the shark, and his wife, Karen, a nurse, tended to Craig on the beach. Nurse Holly Baker of Athens, Tenn., also came to his aid, but others who helped have so far not identified themselves to the Huttos.

    Craig's parents also went into the water, but the shark let go as they got to him.

    Monday's attack came two days after Jamie Marie Daigle, of Gonzales, La., was killed as she swam, about 80 miles to the west of where Craig was injured.

    Lou Ann Hutto said her best friend called to tell her about the attack as they were driving Saturday to Cape San Blas.

    "She said 'Be careful,' " she recalled. "We thought it was just an isolated event, but we talked about it."

    The Huttos said their son plans to continue his athletic career after he gets a prosthetic leg.

    Both attacks were the first ever recorded for Gulf County, where Craig was bitten, and Walton County, where Jaime was killed.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Its really bad here. Sharks are everywhere. Anybody that was planning to vacation in Fla should pick another state.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register