03/15/2012 Frank A. Wacha Jr - Florida

Recent 2012 Shark Attacks and 2012 Shark Attack Related Incidents

03/15/2012 Frank A. Wacha Jr - Florida

Postby alb » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:28 pm

Shark bites surfer at Jensen Public Beach

A shark bit a surfer several times on the arm at Jensen Public Beach on Thursday afternoon, according to Martin County Fire Rescue officials.

At 3:50 p.m., a male surfer was paddling on his surfboard when what is suspected to be a bull shark bit him several times on his left arm, officials said.

The surfer said the shark’s round nose came out of the water and the shark was 5 to 6 feet long, said Capt. Emily Hall, Martin County Ocean Rescue.

The man sustained nonlife-threatening injuries and had his wife take him to a hospital, she said.

“This is the time of year where we see more shark migration,” Hall said. “It is not uncommon to see (sharks). After all it is their environment.”

The shark bite comes after lifeguards twice Thursday had to call all swimmers and surfers out of the water after sharks were spotted in the area, Hall said.

Lifeguard had swimmers and surfers wait 20 to 30 minutes after the last shark had been seen to return to water.

About 2 p.m. officials received a report of a fisherman in an unguarded portion of the beach snagging a 5-foot-long spinner shark, said Daniel Harshburger, fire rescue spokesman.

However, the fisherman and other beachgoers returned the shark to the water, he said.

Fishing from the beach is not allowed in guarded areas of the beaches where people are swimming, because sharks are know for following schools of fish, Hall said.

Lifeguards flew double-red flags at the beach the remainder of the afternoon warning beachgoers of the presence of sharks, Hall said.


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Re: 03/15/2012 Frank A. Wacha Jr - Florida

Postby alb » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:30 pm

Shark bites surfer at Jensen Public Beach, closing waters to swimmers


A bull shark bit a man who was surfing this afternoon in the waters off Jensen Public Beach, Martin County Fire Rescue said.

The man suffered multiple bites to his left arm, but crews were able to control his bleeding and none of his injuries appear to be life-threatening. The man refused medical transport and was taken to a local hospital by his wife, Fire Rescue Bureau Chief Daniel Harshburger said.

The man said the shark's round nose came out of the water and that the shark was 5 to 6 feet long, said Capt. Emily Hall, Martin County Ocean Rescue.

The bite comes amid several recent reports of sharks in area waters. Lifeguards twice today had to call all swimmers and surfers out of the water after sharks were spotted in the area, Hall said. Lifeguards had swimmers and surfers wait 20 to 30 minutes after the last shark was seen before returning to the water.

Lifeguards and ocean-rescue officials in northern Palm Beach County said they have not yet received reports of sharks in their area, which extends north from Loggerhead Park in Juno Beach to Coral Cove Park in Tequesta.

"This is the time of year where we see more shark migration," Hall said. "It is not uncommon to see (sharks). After all it is their environment."

About 2 p.m. Thursday, Martin County officials received a report of a fisherman in an unguarded portion of the beach snagging a 5-foot spinner shark, Harsuburger said. However, the fisherman and other beachgoers returned the shark to the water, he said.

Fishing from the beach is not allowed in guarded areas of beaches where people are swimming because sharks are known for following schools of fish, Hall said

Jensen Public Beach is flying a double-red flag for the remainder of the afternoon, Martin County Fire Rescue said. That flag means the water is closed to the public, but the beach itself remains open.

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Re: 03/15/2012 Frank A. Wacha Jr - Florida

Postby alb » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:38 am

JENSEN BEACH — Surfer Frank A. Wacha Jr., knew he had a problem Thursday afternoon when he saw a bull shark hanging off his left arm.

"It felt just like I had been hit," said Wacha, 61. "It was very fast. It didn't last long."

It was the first time Wacha, who has 50 years experience riding the waves, had been bitten by a shark.

He recounted his experience Friday afternoon while recovering at his restaurant, Kona Beach Cafe.

The avid surfer was 120 to 150 yards offshore Jensen Public Beach on his surfboard when he felt something leap out of the water and attach itself to his arm.

"My arm was out of the water," he said. "I looked over and saw this shark. We were eye to eye.

"The first thing I thought was, 'I need to get a wave and get to shore,'" Wacha said. "Then I thought, 'I hope I don't lose function in this arm.' I knew I wasn't going to lose the arm because it was still attached."

Soon after sinking its teeth into Wacha's flesh, the shark fell off, but not before leaving bite marks from Wacha's forearm to upper arm.

Wacha was able to stay on his 9-foot-long surf board and said hedidn't see any others sharks in the choppy, murky water.

Back at the beach, he beckoned to lifeguards who were able to stop the bleeding and he called his wife, Janice, to take him to the hospital.

Doctors said Wacha is expected to recover from his injuries. He was treated and released from the hospital with a bandaged left arm the same day as the attack.

"Just some tissue damage," he said. "There was no ligament damage or damage to any arteries or nerves."

The day after surviving a shark attack, Wacha was greeting restaurant customers, fielding calls from the media and downing glasses of unsweetened iced tea.

Wacha said he has no intention of letting his shark encounter permanently keep him out of the water.

"As soon as it heals I'll be out there with my buddies."SINGLE FIN SHOWDOWN CONTEST

The surfing community is not letting Thursday's incident stop competitors from getting in the water.

The all-day fourth annual Single Fin Showdown surfing contest sponsored by the United Way of Martin County will take place Saturday at the sound end of Stuart Beach, 889 N.E. Ocean Blvd., spokesman Justin Beard said.

"It's just one of those unfortunate things to happen," Beard, an avid surfer, said of Thursday's incident.

The contest uses vintage 1970s surfboards. Money raised will benefit the United Way.

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Re: 03/15/2012 Frank A. Wacha Jr - Florida

Postby alb » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:51 pm

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Frank Wacha
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