09/06/2012 - Andrew Birchall - Florida

Recent 2012 Shark Attacks and 2012 Shark Attack Related Incidents

09/06/2012 - Andrew Birchall - Florida

Postby alb » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:25 pm

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. -- After riding a wave Thursday a surfer jumped into the water and felt something bite his foot and release him.

Andrew Birchall didn't see what bit him as he swam back to shore. Lifeguards found him on the beach in front of E Street.

The bite was most likely that of a shark according to Jeremy Robshaw, spokesperson for St. Johns Fire and Rescue.

It had all of the characteristics consistent with what they normally see from a shark bite but there is no way to be 100 percent sure, according to lifeguards at the scene.

Birchall went to Flagler Hospital with minor injuries for evaluation.

The long period swell from Tropical Storm Leslie that first reached the beaches on late Monday has been luring more surfers than usual to the beach. The nice swells will be with the First Coast through at least Sunday, according to chief meteorologist Tim Deegan.

Although the swell is not all that large, with it having a period of 15 seconds it will continue to make for great surfing but also for dangerous rip currents.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/
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Re: 09/06/2012 - Andrew Birchall - Florida

Postby alb » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:19 am

Andrew-Birchall.jpg
Andrew Birchall
Andrew-Birchall.jpg (14.36 KiB) Viewed 3008 times


Andrew-Birchall-bite.jpg
Andrew Birchall Bite
Andrew-Birchall-bite.jpg (8.59 KiB) Viewed 3008 times


Birchall was surfing near D Street at St. Augustine Beach about 11:30 a.m. when he apparently stepped on a shark and it took a bite out of his foot.

"Just caught a wave and rode it all the way through and jumped off by board and got hit," Birchall, said. "You could feel the teeth going in, and the pressure is amazing. It's like someone hit you in the foot with a sledgehammer."

With a tooth still in his foot, Birchall needed surgery because his tendons were severed. He'll likely remain in Flagler Hospital through the weekend.

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Re: 09/06/2012 - Andrew Birchall - Florida

Postby alb » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:28 am

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. -
Three people who believe they were bitten by sharks on Northeast Florida beaches are recovering and talking about their encounters.

James Fyfe and Andrew Birchall -- both in their 30s and long-time surfers -- were in good spirits Friday despite their painful injuries.

Fyfe was cut on his calf while catching waves just before noon Thursday in waist deep water near South Street in Neptune Beach.

"It wasn't really a clean hit, but it definitely caught the back of my calf," Fyfe said. "I reached down once I got up on my board, knew something was wrong -- felt a hole in my leg. There was blood everywhere."

Birchall (right) was surfing near D Street at St. Augustine Beach about 11:30 a.m. when he apparently stepped on a shark and it took a bite out of his foot.

"Just caught a wave and rode it all the way through and jumped off by board and got hit," Birchall, said. "You could feel the teeth going in, and the pressure is amazing. It's like someone hit you in the foot with a sledgehammer."

Both had friends help them out of the water until rescuers got there. Both were taken to the hospital.

With a tooth still in his foot, Birchall needed surgery because his tendons were severed. He'll likely remain in Flagler Hospital through the weekend.

Fyfe's gash needed more than 20 stitches and he is recovering at home.

"Whatever this was, it was a pretty large shark because the cut was bone-deep from my calf, and it was about 5 inches long," Fyfe said.

Birchall's wife is at his side to help with his recovery. Fyfe (pictured right) says he hopes that once the gauze is off, the bite will work wonders for his dating life.

"Chicks dig scars," Fyfe said. "Maybe this will help me out."

Both say they'll be hesitant next time they're at the beach, but they'll eventually go back in the water.

Friday afternoon, Channel 4 viewer Leeina Binett said her fiance was bitten on the foot by a shark while swimming off St. Augustine Beach. She said he was in thigh high water.


http://www.news4jax.com
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