Page 1 of 1
06/25/2005 Jamie Marie Diagle (Florida) ***Fatal***
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:05 am
Teenager killed in Florida shark attack
Saturday, June 25, 2005; Posted: 5:13 p.m. EDT (21:13 GMT)
(CNN) -- A 14-year-old girl died Saturday in a shark attack while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said.
The incident happened about 11:15 a.m. in front of a campground near the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, near Destin, Florida, according to the South Walton Fire District.
The girl lost a leg in the attack and died afterward, said John Fitch of the fire district.
At the time of the attack, the girl and a friend, also 14, were swimming and using "boogie boards" about 200 to 250 yards offshore, said Lt. Frank Owens of the Walton County Sheriff's office.
The friend saw the attack and her friend being dragged under, he said.
Beaches in southern Walton County were closed after the attack and will remain closed for at least the rest of the day, Owens told CNN.
Observers have not seen the shark since the incident, and it's believed to have left the area, he said.
Authorities do not know what kind of shark it was.
Fitch said the shark was about 11 feet long. Owens said he could not confirm that size, but noted that many species swim in the warm waters off the Florida coast.
Although shark sightings are not uncommon there, no one had seen a shark in the area Saturday before the attack occurred, Owens said.
Last edited by sharkbait on 02 Jul 2005 12:51 am; edited 2 times in total
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:05 am
A 14-year-old girl died after a shark attacked her while she and a companion were swimming on boogie boards in Florida.
The teenagers were swimming about 91 metres offshore in the Gulf of Mexico when they noticed a dark shadow in the water, authorities said.
The other swimmer was not injured, Walton County Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Shank said.
Tim Dicus, 54, who had been surfing when he heard a scream from the water, found the girl in the centre of a bloody circle of water and said much of her thigh was missing, revealing the bone. The girl's friend had begun swimming toward shore.
"I immediately paddled over and found her floating face down in the centre of the blood pool," Dicus said. "And right next to her was the shark, about to come up and attack her again."
Dicus said he put the girl on his surf board and the shark - which he said appeared to be a bull shark about 2.4 metres long - went after her hand.
"He just followed us right to the beach," Dicus said, adding that he punched the shark on the nose when it tried to attack him.
Two other swimmers came with a raft and helped tow the girl to shore.
The girl was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, Shank said.
She was on vacation from Gonzales, Louisiana, but her name has not yet been released.
The attack happened near the Camping on the Gulf Holiday Travel Park, about 72 kilometres east of Pensacola.
Swimmers were ordered out of the water along 32 kilometres of crowded beaches shortly after the attack.
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.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:06 am
Surfer: 'I've never seen a shark get that aggressive'
Sunday, June 26, 2005; Posted: 10:40 a.m. EDT (14:40 GMT)
The shark "proceeded to continue to attack all the way from the outer bar to the beach," surfer Tim Dicus said.
Tim Dicus was surfing about 200 yards off Florida's Panhandle on Saturday, when he heard the screams of a shark attack.
A shark -- about eight-feet long -- ripped open the left leg of a 14-year-old girl who was swimming with her friend. On Sunday, Dicus described for CNN's Drew Griffin his desperate, yet failed, attempt to save the girl's life, while the shark continued to attack them both on his surf board.
DICUS: I was about 200 yards out, just past the second sand bar, when I heard the scream. I turned around and saw one of the girls swimming towards the beach frantically and the other one had disappeared and there was a big dark spot where she used to be in the water.
GRIFFIN: And you have a nine-foot long surf board. You went right to that blood pool to find her? And when you brought her up on the board, what condition was she in?
DICUS: She was unconscious when I got to the blood pool. So I tried to pull her from the water -- the shark had made an attack when I was trying to get her out of the water. But it gave me enough time to get her on to the board once he had to come back around to make another attack.
He proceeded to continue to attack all the way from the outer bar to the beach.
GRIFFIN: Your feeling is, this shark was actually feeding or biting continuously.
DICUS: Yeah, he was really aggressive. I've been here a long time and I've never seen a shark get that aggressive.
GRIFFIN: How far were these people out there?
DICUS: Way too far. It was at least 200 yards out probably from here.
GRIFFIN: And you had warned other people not to be out that far for this reason?
DICUS: Exactly this reason.
GRIFFIN: You got her to shore, you saw her injuries, tell us what you saw.
DICUS: She was hurt really bad. It looked like she was going to at least lose her leg. The damage on her left leg was really extensive, and I didn't know whether she'd gone into shock -- but she'd pretty much stopped bleeding by the time I got her to the beach -- so I didn't know how we were going to do, saving her."
GRIFFIN: At any time did you think you were in danger or the other rescuers that actually came out into the water were in danger?
DICUS: The only time I really felt like I was in danger was when I was in the blood pool. Because I had no idea where it was, but I knew it knew exactly where I was. So that was the scariest part -- till I got out of the blood pool -- that was really spooky.
GRIFFIN: And the other fellows, they came into the water to help you?
DICUS: Yeah. They were as nervy as I was 'cause they got waist- deep out there with him. At least I was up on a surf board and they were in there with him.
GRIFFIN: You've been out here surfing since 1988, have you ever seen a shark out here that big, that close?
GRIFFIN: It was about 11 feet long they're telling us.
DICUS: I'd say eight feet -- but yeah. I've seen nine- to 10-foot sharks out here.
Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:06 am
June 27, 2005
Two days after Jamie Marie Daigle became the country's first shark fatality of the year, a glimmer of peace brings her parents solace.
While vacationing on a Florida beach with the family of a classmate before the Saturday attack, the gregarious teenager from Gonzales, La., was doing what she liked best -- spending time with friends.
"Her family themselves described her as a sociable person," the Rev. Gary Belsome of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Gonzales, who is fielding media requests for Daigle's parents, Wendy and Ronald Daigle, said yesterday. "She liked being with friends. Her family's taking great comfort in the fact that that's what she was doing. She was with her friends out in sunshine, having fun."
Daigle, 14, was riding a boogie board near Camping on the Gulf Holiday Travel Park in Destin, about 45 miles east of Pensacola on the Florida Panhandle, when a shark about 8 to 9 feet long bit off her thigh, said Lt. Frank Owens from the Walton County Sheriff's Department.
The shark was feeding on fish in shallow water at least 100 yards from the shore in the open gulf.
Beachgoer Tim Dicus, 54, rushed over to help when he saw Daigle's friend frantically swimming to shore and Daigle floating unconscious in bloodied water behind her, Owens said.
"Right next to her was the shark, about to come up and attack her again," said Dicus, who pulled the teen onto his surfboard, punching the shark in the nose to keep it away. "He just followed us right to the beach. He was determined to finish lunch. I hate to put it that way, but that was what he was trying to do."
Daigle was later pronounced dead in a local hospital.
Officials closed 20 miles of beach in Walton County immediately after the attack, but the stretch was reopened yesterday morning with extra lifeguards and beach patrol officers on duty. Though Florida has more shark attacks than any other place in the world -- 12 nonfatal attacks last year -- Walton County has never had one and they are rare in the Panhandle in general, said George Burgess, curator for the International Shark File at the University of Florida.
A bull shark, the species thought to be responsible for Daigle's death, was sighted yesterday less than a quarter mile from where she was attacked.
As her family waits for an autopsy to be performed and her body to be released, they and friends mourn the athletic student who had just graduated from the eighth grade at St. Teresa's school, and was preparing to start ninth grade at St. Joseph's Academy, Baton Rouge's premier Catholic girls' school.
She was a cheerleader and had been working at St. Teresa's summer camp, teaching sports.
"She was a very good student, very athletic," Belsome said. "She was a very beautiful girl. She had a beautiful smile."
This story was supplemented with wire service reports.
Re: 06/25/2005 Jamie Marie Diagle (Florida) ***Fatal***
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:11 pm
14-year-old girl killed offshore in the Florida Panhandle
Sunday, June 26, 2005; Posted: 6:46 p.m. EDT (22:46 GMT)
Jamie Marie Daigle died Saturday after being attacked by a shark near Destin, Florida.
Surfer: 'Never seen a shark get that aggressive'
MIRAMAR BEACH, Florida (CNN) -- The beaches of northwest Florida reopened Sunday, a day after a 14-year-old girl died in a shark attack, but were largely abandoned as visitors shied away from the water.
Jamie Daigle, of Gonzales, Louisiana, and her friend Felicia Venable, also 14, were swimming Saturday morning about 200 yards offshore in the Gulf of Mexico when they saw a dark shadow in the water, according to a statement issued Sunday by the Walton County Sheriff's Office.
Daigle was severely bitten, with bites on "the lower portions of her body," the statement said.
Police said Venable began heading for shore to get help from relatives when she saw her friend had been bitten and was being pulled under.
The attack happened at about 11:15 a.m. in front of a campground near the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in the Florida Panhandle between Pensacola and Panama City, eight miles east of Destin.
Emergency personnel were on the scene quickly and attempted to save Daigle, but she died as a result of her wounds, authorities said.
Both girls were using boogie boards, said Lt. Frank Owens of the Walton County Sheriff's Office.
"For a regular swimmer, she was pretty far out," Capt. Danny Glidewell of the sheriff's office said. Usually, only surfers go that far out in the water, he said.
Once swimmers pass the first sandbar and drop-off, "you will experience more sightings of sharks," he said, although the area has never before had a shark attack.
A shark also was spotted in area waters Sunday, closer to shore than where Saturday's attack occurred.
Daigle's family was back in Gonzales, about 60 miles west of New Orleans. Their priest, Father Gary Belsome, said he met with her relatives early Sunday.
"They're doing well," Belsome said. "They're surrounded by friends and family. People are pulling together."
Center of the 'blood pool'
Tim Dicus was surfing near the girls Saturday when he heard a scream.
"I was about 200 yards out, just past the second sandbar," Dicus said. "And when I heard the scream, I turned around and saw one of the girls swimming towards the beach frantically and the other one had disappeared and there was a big dark spot where she used to be in the water."
"She was unconscious when I got to the blood pool," Dicus said.
"So I tried to pull her from the water -- the shark had made an attack when I was trying to get her out of the water. But it gave me enough time to get her on to the board once he had to come back around to make another attack."
Dicus said the shark -- about 8 feet long -- continued to try to attack them on his surfboard as he made his way to shore.
"He was really aggressive," Dicus said. "I've been here a long time and I've never seen a shark get that aggressive."
"She was hurt really bad. It looked like she was going to at least lose her leg," Dicus said.
"The damage on her left leg was really extensive, and I didn't know whether she had just gone into shock -- but she'd pretty much stopped bleeding by the time I got her on to the beach -- so I didn't know how we were going to save her."
Dicus said he had warned other swimmers earlier in the day against going out too far, fearing shark attacks.
Although shark sightings are not uncommon along the coast, no one had seen a shark in the area Saturday before the attack, Owens said.
The area was under green flags, meaning calm surf, Glidewell said. Authorities did not know the kind of shark that attacked the girl.
Deaths from unprovoked shark attacks are rare, according to statistics compiled by the International Shark Attack File.
Seven people were killed in shark attacks worldwide in 2004, including two in the United States. California and Hawaii each recorded one shark attack death last year.
There were 12 shark attacks on Florida beaches in 2004, down sharply from 30 in 2003. Experts credit the busy hurricane season in 2004 for the lower numbers.
Shark scientist Dr. Erich Ritter said he would attend the girl's autopsy Monday morning in Pensacola.
Ritter, who describes himself as a shark behaviorist, said an examination of her wounds would reveal the shark's size, species and likely motivation.
Ritter said it is possible the girl was attacked because she got in the shark's way as it headed toward a meal.
The shark also could have mistaken splashing by the girls as activity by fish, he said. The wounds could show which it was, Ritter said.