07/01/2005 Armin Trojer (Florida)

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07/01/2005 Armin Trojer (Florida)

Post by sharkbait »

Tourist bitten by shark off Florida coast
Attack is third of its kind this week

Friday, July 1, 2005; Posted: 3:10 p.m. EDT (19:10 GMT)

An EMT wheels Armin Trojer, 19, into Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Florida.

A 19-year-old man is bitten by a shark in Florida.(1:41)

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Manage Alerts | What Is This? BOCA GRANDE, Florida (AP) -- A shark bit an Austrian tourist on an ankle Friday while the man stood in chest-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico, the sheriff's office said.

It was the third shark attack in the state in a week.

Armin Projer, 19, was airlifted by helicopter to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, where he was in good condition, hospital spokeswoman Pat Dolce said.

"It is a confirmed shark attack," Lee County sheriff's spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi said. "Someone else in the water saw a shark."

Paramedics also indicated the wound was consistent with a shark bite, she said.

The man was bitten near the lighthouse at Gasparilla Island Beach.

"We are out there right now letting people know, notifying people on the beach about what happened," LiMarzi said.

The beach was not closed to swimmers.

Two other young people have been bitten since Saturday in gulf water off Florida. The latest incident was about 280 miles from an attack Monday on a 16-year-old boy who lost his leg and about 350 miles from the spot where a 14-year-old girl was killed Saturday.

Experts believed bull sharks attacked both teens in the Florida Panhandle. The type of shark involved in Friday's attack was not immediately determined.

Experts say shark attacks are rare, pointing out that there were only 30 in 2003 among the millions of people who hit the state's beaches. Most of those attacks were minor bites on the feet or ankles.

Last year, when four hurricanes kept many visitors away, there were 12 attacks.

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Post by sharkbait »

The week of August 05, 2005

Researchers seek return of shark tooth

When he returned to his home town of Baden, Austria, after an eventful vacation, Armin Trojer took a little piece of Florida with him: a tooth fragment from the shark that nearly severed his ankle while he was swimming near the lighthouse on July 1.

The tooth was apparently given to Trojer by the surgeons who operated on him at Lee Memorial Hospital. Now, scientists at the University of Florida's Program for Shark Research and International Shark Attack File would like to get it back, at least for a little while.

"He probably took it as a souvenir," said George H. Burgess, the program's director. "The timing was bad. The attack happened on a Friday, Monday was a holiday and I had to hit the road Tuesday to attend some meetings.

"My staff started making calls about the tooth Tuesday morning, but by the time they got back to the physicians, Trojer had been released with the tooth. The prospects of getting it back are reduced now he's back in his own country, but one of my assistants speaks German, and we will be composing letter to him in German, once we locate his actual address."

Trojer, 19, was standing in chest-deep water when, around 11:30 a.m., he felt a tug on his ankle. He hobbled to the beach, where his father Werner and other beachgoers saw blood streaming down his foot.

One woman called 911 on a cell phone while a nurse from Arcadia rushed to Trojer's aid, applying a tourniquet until EMS personnel arrived. Trojer was airlifted to the hospital.

As the third shark attack on a Florida beach in one week, Trojer's misfortune received worldwide attention. Over 150 German-language articles about it appeared on the World Wide Web, most of them repeating the same news wire story.

The other two attacks, which occurred in the Florida Panhandle, killed a 14-year-old girl and caused a 16-year-old boy to lose his leg.

If the fragment can be recovered, Burgess said, and if it is large enough, he and his colleagues may be able to determine what species of shark bit Trojer.

"Different shark species have different shapes of teeth," Burgess explained. "The angle of the tooth coming out of gums and the serrations on its edge are all very helpful in determining species.

"Usually we don't get tooth fragments from most bites, just if it hits bone. It breaks when the shark moves its head. It's lucky for us, not for the victim."

While it may be moot to Trojer, Burgess said it's important for the scientific community to determine what species of shark was involved, to see if species was a factor in why the attack occurred.

"Both outcomes and styles of attack are related to the species," Burgess said. "It's unlikely Trojer was attacked by a bull shark. His injuries would have been a whole lot worse, I think."

What happened to Trojer mostly fit a "typical shark attack pattern for Florida," Burgess said. He described it as a "hit and run" event on the east coast, a quick grab or slash and no return engagement, leaving wounds below the knee on the foot.

The typical victim is a Caucasian surfer, 15 to 30 years old, in the surf zone. Such an attack usually does not result in severe injuries, just lacerations or puncture wounds. It requires sutures but there's no loss of tissue or function.

"The shark mistakes the surfer's foot for the activity of a normal prey item," Burgess explained. "The ones in the Panhandle and on Boca Grande were unique. They were non-surfers, the geographic location was the Gulf rather than the east coast, and the first two cases were severe injuries with multiple bites."

Burgess suspects the shark that attacked Trojer was a black tip, since they were traveling through the area and have been implicated in attacks on the east coast.

The frequency of shark attacks is dictated by human activity, Burgess said.

"As humans go into the water in record numbers, dictated by the continuous rise in population and increased interest in aquatic recreation, the time spent in the sea on activities often provocative to sharks increases," he warned. "Each decade has more attacks than the previous one, and this trend will continue to rise in future.

"We're flooding sharks out of their own environment. If the trend continues, all you guys in the news business will be writing about will be shark attacks. There's unparalleled media interest, a scramble for a sound bite on every half-hour news show.

"It's on the air ad nauseum. It gets beat into ground."

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Post by sharkbait »

Shark attacks teen off Boca Grande

Published by news-press.com on July 1, 2005

Lee County emergency technicians transfer a shark bite victim into Lee Memorial Hospital Friday afternoon. The victim was attacked by a shark off the shore of Boca Grande and was transported to the hospital by helicopter. GARTH FRANCIS/news-press.com

By GRANT BOXLEITNER, gboxleitner@news-press.com & SARAH LUNDY, slundy@news-press.com

A 19-year-old Austrian tourist attacked while swimming off Boca Grande has five to seven lacerations on his right ankle consistent with a single shark bite, his doctor announced at 4 p.m. in Lee Memorial Hospital.

Armin Trojer, of Baden, Austria, will undergo surgery at 5 p.m. to repair major tendons and vessels around the foot and ankle, Dr. Anthony Dalley said at a press conference.

“It appears that he has several large wounds, fairly jagged in nature and fairly deep, which would fit a shark bite,” said Dalley, an emergency room physician in the trauma center.

The lacerations are 5 to 7 inches deep, but TrojerÂ’s prognosis is good, Dalley said. He should have no problem walking again.

The attack occurred this morning near the lighthouse at Gasparilla Island Beach.

Trojer was upright in the water when he was bitten, said Lee County sheriffÂ’s spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi.

“It is a confirmed shark attack,” LiMarzi said. “Someone else in the water saw a shark.”

Dalley said Trojer did not see what got him, but felt something grab on to his ankle and let go.

He realized he was bleeding and started making his way to shore, Dalley said, relaying TrojerÂ’s story. The teenager called to his father, who helped him out of the water and onto the beach.

“I think he’s fairly lucky,” Dalley said. “He appears to have a single bite.”

When he arrived at the hospital, his leg was splinted and he had pressure bandages to prevent more blood loss.

Surgeon Brian Burg will operate.

Witnesses say Trojer was hopping and had a bloody foot when he came ashore. Apparently, he didnÂ’t know if heÂ’d been bit by a shark or a jelly fish.

Aaron Denson, 14, vacationing from Missouri, was swimming near the lighthouse with his cousin and aunt when he saw the man coming out of the water.

Denson ran to his vacation rental to get help while others called 911. He returned with his uncle and his cousin, Mindy Denson, 21, who brought a small first aid kit.

“When we got down there, I thought 'this isn’t going to cut it,'” Mindy Denson said.

Another woman on the beach had already wrapped a towel around his ankle, which was bleeding heavily.

Paramedics arrived and loaded him on a stretcher, then transported him by helicopter to Lee Memorial Hospital.

At 4 p.m., a trail of blood remained in the sand, running from the water about 50 feet toward the lighthouse.

News of the attack spread quickly on the small island.

Selina Stephens, 46, is a bartender at South Beach Bar and Grill.

“As soon as we saw the fire trucks go by, we wanted to know what was happening,” Stephens said.

Cell phones started ringing. Nextels starting beeping.

“We knew within minutes what happened,” she said.

Hours later, the story of the shark bite has grown. People are talking about how the man lost his leg, the shark ate a 3-year-old and now, two girls are missing, Stephens said.

LiMarzi said deputies notified people on the beach about what happened but did not close the beach to swimmers.

The attack is the third off the coast of Florida recently. A 14-year-old Louisiana girl was killed near Pensacola last month when a shark attacked her while she was swimming with friends. Three days later, a 16-year-old boy from Tennessee was bitten and critically injured near Panama City.

Experts believed bull sharks attacked both teens in the Florida Panhandle. The type of shark involved in the Boca Grande attack was not immediately determined.

Experts point out that shark attacks are rare, pointing out that there were only 30 in 2003 among the millions of people who hit the stateÂ’s beaches. Most of those attacks were minor bites on the feet or ankles. Last year, when four hurricanes kept many visitors away, there were 12 attacks.

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