In the third shark attack in Florida, US, in a week, a 19-year-old Austrian tourist was bitten on the ankle by a shark shortly before 11.30am local time while swimming about 100 metres from the shore off a Gulf of Mexico beach in Gasparilla Island State Park.
His father brought the boy ashore where a nurse, who was on the beach at the time, put a towel on the wound stanching the blood flow until paramedics arrived.
The victim, Armin Trojer, 19, of Baden, Austria, was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Fort Myers, where he was in good condition, hospital spokeswoman told the press. He had surgery to repair torn ligaments and tendons and was expected to make a full recovery.
According to the Herald Tribune: Trojer, who is 6 feet tall, told physicians at Lee Memorial Hospital that he was swimming alone in water that was too deep to stand in when the shark’s jaws closed on his ankle.
Authorities don’t know what kind of shark bit Trojer, although hammerhead sharks, spinner sharks and bull sharks frequent the area several hundred feet north of Boca Grande Pass, according to press reports. The two attacks which took place earlier this week in Florida (see earlier blogs) were by bull sharks.
“The bull shark gets its name from its stout appearance and pugnacious
reputation. The French know the shark as requin bouledogue, and the Spanish as
tiburon sarda. It is known by many different common names throughout its range
including Zambezi shark, Van Rooyen’s shark (Africa); Ganges shark (India);
Nicaragua shark (Central America); freshwater whaler, estuary whaler, and Swan
River whaler (Australia); shovelnose shark, square-nose shark, river shark,
slipway grey shark, ground shark, and cub shark.” – Icthyology Dept at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The pass, where Charlotte Harbor flows into the Gulf between Boca Grande and Cayo Costa, is world renown for game fishing. Locals don’t recommend swimming in the area.
The Herald Tribune report.