INJURED – 13 July 2005, Crystal Beach, Texas, United States, swimmer attacked

Fourteen-year-old Lydia Paulk was bitten on the foot on Wednesday 13 July by what is believed to be a black tip shark while standing in waist deep water with two relatives.

According to witnesses the shark was 4-5 feet long. It bumped her leg before returning after a few seconds and biting her foot. The jagged bite severed tendons on the top of her foot.

Lydia’s aunt, who was with her in the water, pulled her onto a small boat and took her to shore, wrapping her bleeding foot in a towel

Lydia, from North Carolina, was taken to University of Texas Medical Branch hospital. Doctors, who removed fragments of shark teeth from the wound, said they believed she would be able to walk again.

Galveston County – The Daily News report

The electric Shark Shield

Autralian company SeaChange has developed an electric Shark Shield designed for divers, surfers, kayakers and other water sport users, both professional and recreational.

The shield is strapped to the user of the user’s water craft and creates a “unique electronic field around the user. The electric field is detected by the snouts of the sharks and causes them intense discomfort making them to leave the area,” says SeaChange.

The electric field does not affect any other sea creatures and is harmless to the wearer.

SeaChange says the device has been tested over many years in scientific and real life situations with a wide variety of sharks, including Great Whites.

SeaChange

Electric shark barriers given go-ahead for South Africa, Australia

“Electronic barriers to keep sharks away from popular beaches are to be given the go-ahead in Australia and South Africa.

Australian company Seachange Technology said on Monday that it had signed a deal with South Africa’s Natal Sharks Board to trial electronic devices that give out a signal that drives sharks away but is harmless to them and to dolphins and whales.”

More…

The Bull Shark


Following a spate of shark attacks in the Gulf of Mexico recently presumed to be by bull sharks , here is the scientific picture of the bull shark, considered the most dangerous shark in the world, responsible for the most attacks on humans – from the Ichthyology Dept, Florida Natural History Museum.

The Bull Shark

“According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) bull sharks are
historically responsible for at least 69 unprovoked attacks on humans around the
world, 17 of which resulted in fatality. In reality this species is likely
responsible for many more, and has been considered by many experts to be the
most dangerous shark in the world. It’s large size, occurrence in freshwater
bodies, and greater abundance in close proximity to numerous human populations
in the tropics makes it more of a potential threat than either the white shark
or tiger shark. Since the bull shark occurs in numerous Third World regions
including Central America, Mexico, India, east and west Africa, the Middle East,
Southeast Asia, and South Pacific Islands, attacks are often not reported. The
bull shark is also not as easily identifiable as the white or tiger shark, so is
likely responsible for a large percentage of attacks with unidentified
culprits.

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.”

More here…

INJURED – 1 July 2005 – Gasparilla Island Beach, Florida, US – swimmer attacked

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.