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08/19/2007 Chris Olstad (Florida)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.
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08/19/2007 Chris Olstad (Florida)

Post by sharkbait »

Man Says Shark Bit Him During Nightly Swim
Victim Swims Back To Shore, Airlifted To Ryder Trauma Center

POSTED: 9:16 am EDT August 20, 2007

MIAMI -- A 52-year-old Islamorada man said he believes a shark bit him Sunday during his nightly swim offshore of Founder's Park.

Chris Olstad was swimming his normal route from the park to a sailboat about 9:15 p.m. when he was bitten. He managed to swim about a quarter of a mile back to shore and drove himself to a Monroe County Sheriff's Office substation, according to the sheriff's office.

He was taken by ambulance to nearby Mariner's Hospital and later airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

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Post by sharkbait »

Shark bites swimmer off Founders Park

By Kristen Burnie, kburnie@keysreporter.com
Posted-Thursday, August 23, 2007 12:22 PM EDT Email this story
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An Islamorada man says he’ll keep swimming at night in Florida Bay even after being attacked by a shark on Sunday.

Chris Olstad, 52, said he was swimming his usual route around 9:15 p.m. Aug. 19, from the beach at Founders Park on Plantation Key to a boat anchored out a quarter-mile, and back to shore. He had reached the boat and was swimming back to shore when what he believes was a shark struck him in his side.

From his bed at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami on Monday, Olstad spoke to The Reporter with surprising composure about his harrowing encounter.

“I got bit,” Olstad said. “It was kind of a surprise of course. I got bumped. I felt the head of the shark; it was about a foot or more across in width, and then I reached down and I felt a flap of skin, which was bleeding profusely.”

Olstad said he made his way back to the shore using one arm to maintain pressure on his wound, and the other to swim. He immediately headed for the shallower water by the mangroves, but severe blood loss prevented him from walking the rest of the way to shore.

“Swimming was easier than walking,” Olstad said. “Every time I stepped, I felt like I was passing out.”

Once he made it to shore, Olstad said his biggest fear was passing out on the beach because of blood loss. He said he lost consciousness several times as he attempted to reach his Jeep, parked only a hundred feet away.

“As I was walking up to the Jeep I kept passing out,” he said. “I was concerned that I might not make it to the Jeep. I ended up with a mouthful of sand, a nasty cut on my chin, and I put a tooth through my cheek.”

But Olstad did make it to his Jeep and managed to drive about 200 yards to the sheriff’s substation at the park entrance. He credits the fast action of officers there with helping save his life.

“The two officers there were very, very helpful immediately,” Olstad said. “They got a hold of a paramedic within about two or three minutes.”

An ambulance took Olstad to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, where he was treated by Dr. Seth Horowitz before being airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where he remained on Tuesday.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Kiffney, who spoke with Olstad at Mariners Hospital, said Olstad’s wound extended from under his arm to his waist, with a large chunk of flesh missing.

According to Mariners Hospital representative Sheila Konzewski, Horowitz said the wound appeared to be a shark bite.

Olstad, a marine biologist, said he’s been swimming in the area for seven or eight years without incident.

“Usually what I see there are things like eagle rays or dolphins, not sharks,” he said. “I was swimming a backstroke at the time that it bumped me. Usually I have my head down in the water so I can see what’s around me.”

Although Olstad plans to eventually swim in the area again, he said those plans do not include doing the backstroke.

Asked why the shark may have attacked, Olstad said, “I think he was just tasting me. I think he was curious about what I was. He could have done some serious damage if he wanted to. He didn’t break any bones. If it wanted me, it could’ve had me.”

Olstad said he maintains an appreciation for sharks even after Sunday’s attack, and harbors no animosity for the species.

“I spend a lot of my time out on the reefs, I’m very familiar with sharks,” he said. “I actually consider it a great find to see them, I enjoy seeing them, but this was a situation that I was just blindsided. I actually consider this a freak accident. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m endorsing any ill-will towards the species.”

Olstad, who described his wound as a “crescent mark” on his torso, said he is extremely grateful to the sheriff’s office, emergency rescue personnel, and hospital staff.

“Everybody did a real nice job,” he said.

Sunday’s shark attack comes just 12 days after a Jacksonville woman was bitten by what was originally though to be a shark at Bud N’ Mary’s Marina on Upper Matecumbe Key oceanside. Doctors and wildlife experts later said the woman’s wound was more likely to have been inflicted by a barracuda.

According to the International Shark Attack File, 544 unprovoked shark attacks have been confirmed in Florida since 1882, 18 of which occurred in Monroe County. Those numbers do not include Sunday’s attack.

http://www.upperkeysreporter.com/articl ... news04.txt
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Post by sharkbait »

Man remains hospitalized after shark attack in the Keys
ISLAMORADA - A swimmer bitten by a shark off Islamorada in the Florida Keys is recovering in the hospital.

Authorities say Chris Olstad was swimming his usual route from Founder's Park to a sailboat about a half mile off shore and back when he was struck in the side.

The 52-year-old made it back to shore and was taken to the hospital. He told authorities it was a shark that bit him.

Authorities say a large chunk of flesh is missing from his side.

Olstad remains hospitalized at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/loc ... es-tourism
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