According to West Palm Beach, Florida’s WPTV.com, a Florida teen was bitten by a bull shark on Friday while spear-fishing in the Bahamas. Derek Mitchell was spear-fishing off Spanish Cay with his father and some neighbors. One of the other spear-fishermen had speared a fish, which they believe attracted the shark’s attention. The bull shark approached Mitchell but initially turned away, before returning and biting his lower leg, puncturing his Achilles tendon. Mitchell was rushed to a local hospital and later flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach for surgery. Mitchell is expected to recover from the attack, according to the report.
In other shark attack news from the weekend, New Orlean’s The Times-Picayune article, Coast Guard medevacs man bitten by shark in Breton Sound, reports that, on Saturday morning, a fisherman was bitten in the leg by a shark. The victim was fishing about 65 miles southeast of New Orleans, in Breton Sound. The victim was airlifted from the scene by a Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and taken to New Orleans, where he was transported to University Hospital. The victim, from Mississippi, had not been identified, and the report listed his condition as unknown.
The Coast Guard has posted this video footage of the rescue.
Update (08/03/2009): WWL.com is reporting that the victim of the shark attack in Louisiana is 62-year old Chris Haynes. Haynes was bitten as he was wading in the water, while fishing in Breton Sound. According to Coast Guard Lt. John Egan, the shark “took off about half of his foot.” Egan also said that Haynes is “doing okay” and was to undergo surgery today (08/03) “to help fix up his foot and his leg.”
Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery for both Haynes and Mitchell.