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06/17/2007 Kasey Schmidt (Florida)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.
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06/17/2007 Kasey Schmidt (Florida)

Post by sharkbait »

Shark bites 9-year-old surfer at Vilano Beach

June 18, 2007 ; Updated: 7:42 AM on Monday, June 18, 2007
A 9-year-old St. Johns County girl was apparently bitten by a shark Sunday while surfing north of the St. Augustine Inlet at Vilano Beach.

The girl walked to her home nearby and was taken to Flagler Hospital by St. Johns County Fire Rescue, said department spokesman Jeremy Robshaw.

The name of the girl was not released.

http://staugustine.com/stories/061807/n ... 3392.shtml

Robshaw said the attack happened about 4:30 p.m. when the girl was surfing in the 3800 block of Coastal Highway.

He said he did not know where the bite was located.

"We've had a couple of other instances of bites [this year], but this is the first one that appeared to be a shark bite," he said.
Last edited by sharkbait on Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Post by sharkbait »

'Shark bite' slows victim

Group investigates incident;

victim not ready to go back into the ocean

By Marcia Lane | More by this reporter | marcia.lane@staugustine.com | Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2007 ; Updated: 6:45 AM on Thursday, June 21, 2007


Click thumbnails to enlarge

Kasey Schmidt, 9, stands on the shore behind her familyms home on Villano Beach, where she was apparently bit by a shark on Sunday, June 17, 2007 while surfing with her mother, Brandi Schmidt. by RYAN PELHAM, ryan.pelham@staugustine.com

For 9-year-old Kasey Schmidt, a day at the beach turned into three days in the hospital after she was apparently bitten by a shark off Vilano Beach.

Beach authorities are using the word apparently, because no one saw the shark and no teeth were found in the wound. The Schmidt family, longtime beach residents, is convinced it was a shark.

An organization known as the International Shark Attack File is investigation and will decide if it indeed was a shark that bit Kasey.

"We've already initiated the process," said St. Johns County Aquatics Superintendent Dave Williams Wednesday. About three shark bites are confirmed each year in the county, he said.

"There's a whole lot that goes into it. It's pretty rare you get a true confirmation." Williams said.

Kasey Schmidt, who turns 10 on July 7, is no stranger to the water. She's been surfing with her mother since she was 3 and plans to swim competitively in the Junior Olympics in Gainesville in July.

"I started surfing when I was 4. I've been tandem surfing with my mom since I was 3," Schmidt said. While she swims a great deal it's more often in a pool. About once a week, however, she heads out to surf in front of her house at Vilano.

That's where she was Sunday around 5 p.m. Her mother, Brandi, was sitting on a surfboard waiting for a wave and Kasey had already caught her wave and headed toward the shore.

"I basically sort of felt it," said Kasey Schmidt, describing how she fell off the board, started tumbling in the water and felt the shark bite. "Something bumped into my board."

Her mother heard her daughter scream and knew something out of the ordinary had happened. She still isn't sure how she got to her daughter's side but her daughter was at the edge of the shore and blood was pouring out of her right inside thigh. She used the leash on the surfboard to make a tourniquet because she wasn't sure an artery hadn't been hit. A passing beach walker carried her daughter up the steep white steps in front of the house and put her on the top of the hot tub.

"By then neighbors and strangers were all around," Brandi Schmidt said. St. Johns County Fire Rescue arrived and treated the girl taking her first to Flagler Hospital.

She's still amazed how calmly her daughter reacted despite being in obvious pain.

"There was a hole as big as my hand spread apart," she said, illustrating the size with her hand. A series of abrasions on the lower part of the leg may have been made when the rough skin of the shark passed by.

At Flagler Hospital, one nurse asked if the wound might have been made by the fin of the surfboard. After she saw it, she said it definitely looked like a shark bite.

Kasey Schmidt was transferred to Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville later Sunday evening and surgeons operated, cutting away the dead flesh and sewing up the wound.

She was allowed to come home Tuesday and her parents are hopeful the flesh around the wound will stay health. Some cosmetic surgery may be needed, but there was no muscle damage.

Kasey's father, Kevin Schmidt, was out of town on business when the accident happened. His wife telephoned him at his hotel in Argentina shortly after he arrived; Kasey was the one who told her father what had happened.

Brandi Schmidt said they have always tried to make their daughter aware of the possible dangers of the ocean. She tells of a pilot friend who has been up in the air when the beaches are full and the water is clear. He has often seen sharks swimming in the waters just a few feet beyond the humans.

"We know they're there. She knows they're there. We've always told her to get the heck out of the water if she sees a shark. That's what she did," Schmidt said.

The irony for Brandi Schmidt is that it was her daughter who was bitten. Schmidt is a professional surfer who has pursued the sport all over the world. She's been out on the water in the early morning and late evening, when bait fish are swimming and when the ocean has a fishy smell -- all times when sharks are more likely to gather. She's never been bitten.

For now, Kasey Schmidt is using crutches to get around. She's planning to return to swimming -- in chlorine pools. She says she's not ready to go back into the ocean.

International Shark Attack File

The International Shark Attack File is a compilation of all known shark attacks. It's administered at the University of Florida and their records go back to the mid 1500s.

The File staff uses information from people on the scene, reviews of bite photographs and inspections of teeth, if available, to determine if a shark has attacked. Teeth help determine the type of shark involved.

Sharks, who have poor eyesight, can easily mistake a human for a fish. They may grab a hand or foot, which is about the size of the fish they pursue, before realizing it's attached to a body.

You're twice as likely to be killed by an alligator as a shark. Between 1948 and 2005 in Florida, there were 17 human deaths due to alligators and eight deaths due to sharks.

You're far more likely to be killed by lightning than by sharks. Between 1959 and 2006 in Florida, there were 438 fatalities from lightning and eight fatalities from sharks.

Between 1959 and 2006 in Florida, there were 523 shark attacks. In the Coastal U.S. there were 852 attacks during that period.

-- Info from International Shark Attack File http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/

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Post by sharkbait »

9-Year-Old Girl Talks About Shark Attack
Girl Bitten After Falling Off Surfboard

POSTED: 8:38 am EDT June 18, 2007
UPDATED: 8:05 am EDT June 19, 2007

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VILANO BEACH, Fla. -- A 9-year-old St. Johns County girl is recovering after being attacked by a shark on Sunday.

Casey Schmidt was surfing off Vilano Beach when she was bitten on the upper leg. She was transported to a hospital, and doctors said her wound was mostly superficial.

Casey said the shark attacked her after she fell off her surfboard.

"I started tumbling in the waves, and I guess it just bit me then. It felt like a 20,000-pound saw hit me," Schmidt said.

She's expected to make a full recovery.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

http://www.local6.com/news/13519590/det ... n&psp=news
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Post by sharkbait »

Shark bite not certain, St. Johns County officials say Girl suffered wound at Vilano Beach

By MARCIA LANE | More by this reporter | marcia.lane@staugustine.com | Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 ;

Authorities do not know for sure if it was a shark that bit a 9-year-old St. Johns County girl as she was surfing north of the St. Augustine Inlet at Vilano Beach Sunday.

"We've talked with Dave Williams (the head of St. Johns County's beach patrol) and we're not certain that it was a shark," said Jeremy Robshaw, spokesman for St. Johns County Fire Rescue on Monday.

While the shape of the wound could have been made by a shark bite, other expected signs aren't present.

The apparent wound could have been made by the fin of her surfboard, he said.

"We have two or three incidents each year. With these types of incidents you never really know for sure," Robshaw said.

"Whether or not we can confirm it as a shark bite is rare unless there's a tooth in the wound."

http://staugustine.com/stories/061907/n ... 5202.shtml
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