Jackson man bitten by shark off La. coast
56-year-old victim was hospitalized after attack in bay
Nicklaus Lovelady, August 3, 2009.
A Jackson business man remains hospitalized after surviving a shark attack over the weekend near Breton Island off the Louisiana coast.
Chris Haynes Jr., 56, was bitten Saturday on the foot as he and others fished in Breton Sound, a bay near the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent to the Mississippi River, said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Tom Atkeson.
Haynes is the owner of Chris Haynes Electric Supply Inc in Jackson.
"Around 10 a.m. Saturday, we picked up a radio transmission from a vessel named the 'Predator' who reported someone on board was bitten by a shark," Atkeson said.
A Coast Guard boat stationed in Venice, La., and a rescue helicopter were dispatched to the boat.
A rescue crewman lowered to the boat brought Haynes up to the helicopter, which took him to New Orleans. An ambulance met the helicopter and took him to a hospital.
Atkeson said he does not know how the shark was able to attack the man. The shark did not damage the 30-foot recreational fishing boat Haynes was aboard.
The type of shark has not been identified, although lemon, bull and nurse sharks "are the most common sharks in the Gulf," Atkeson said.
Sophia Owen, a neighbor of Haynes, said he was fishing with his son at the time. She said Haynes was transported to University of Mississippi Medical Center on Sunday.
"They said they're going to be able to save the foot, but he has to have some extensive surgeries," Owen said.
According to National Geographic, there are 50 to 70 confirmed shark attacks each year around the world and up to 15 of those attacks are fatal.
Atkeson said one important lesson in this attack, which may have saved the man's life, was the marine radio device on board the boat.
"A lot of times, boaters will be in the Gulf or a remote waterway, and their cell phone doesn't get reception. A marine band radio is much more reliable and is likely to get picked up by rescuers," he said.http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20 ... 4/1263/RSS