INJURED – 10 May 2011 – Miami, Florida, US – tourist fisherman attacked

Brian Storch shark attack
Brian Storch poses with the sandbar shark which bit him after this photo was taken.

Brian Storch was bitten on the arm has he posed for a photograph with a shark his girlfriend had caught from a charter boat. The location of the incident is not immediately clear, although it occurred about a half mile out to sea near Miami and Storch was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. The incident happened on 10 May 2011.

According to the report his girlfriend hooked an 8-foot long, 220-pound sandbar shark and hauled it onto the boat. When Storch posed with the shark for a photo taken by the skipper the shark reached up and grabbed his arm.

The skipper said: “I snapped the picture. Then, a second later, the shark just reached up and grabbed him by the arm, and then it was all over that quick.”

The crew applied a tight bandage to the wound. When they reached shore paramedics took him to hospital where he received several stitches and was discharged.

The bandaged wound

The skipper said: “It was just a freak thing. Once in a million.”

No other details were reported.

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INJURED – 28 April 2010 — Everglades National Park, Florida, USA – research diver attacked

Shark researcher Dr Kirk Gastrich, 29, was bitten on the left forearm while ushering  a six-foot lemon shark toward the boat he and two other researchers were using in the Everglades National Park, Florida, USA.

Dr Gastrich is a marine biologist at Florida International University.

According to media reports the shark moved erratically and bit him on his left forearm.

The other two researchers applied basic first aid to the victim after the shark bite; when they returned to the Flamingo Marina, park rangers administered additional first aid to the bite.

He was then airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital and was reported in a stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.

FIU director of Environment and Society Dr Michael Heithaus, said: The waters were really murky. He was actually back near the tail of the animal and he didn’t see it move, and it reared up, and normally you’d be way out of the way, and he just didn’t see it coming.

“Next thing you know, it bit him and wouldn’t let go of his elbow.”

Heithaus said Gastrich was researching sharks at the mouth of Shark River near Bailey Key, just west of the Florida Keys. He explained: “We bring him up next to the boat and let them swim slowly forward because that usually keeps them calm. We collect small tissue samples from them because that let us know what they are eating. We put a tag in the dorsal fin so we know where the individual is and we can measure it later. We get measurements of its length and then we let them go.”

According to officials, the bite cannot be considered an attack, since the victim was conducting research. Linda Friar of Everglades National Park said, “You never know when you’re dealing with wild animals, whether they’re in the water or on land, how they may respond to research. Usually, they’re very cautious and careful. What they do with the shark research, from what I understand, is they bring the shark close to the boat and they try and measure them for size. I don’t know exactly what they were doing at the time, but this particular shark, apparently, did not appreciate it.”


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