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05/07/2007 Hans Pruss (Florida)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.
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05/07/2007 Hans Pruss (Florida)

Post by sharkbait »

Man bitten by shark
Scripps Howard News Service
Monday, May 07, 2007

Authorities cordoned off 300 feet of Naples beach and urged swimmers to avoid the water near the Edgewater Beach Hotel Monday after a shark bit a 68-year-old German man.

The man, who was swimming north parallel to the beach about 300 feet out, felt something bump his left leg, but the water was murky and he didn't see anything, said Ginger Jones with Naples Police Special Services Division. Once he swam ashore he saw a large semi-circular bite above his knee.

He walked about 100 yards north along the shore, leaving smears of blood on the sand.

A worker at the hotel saw the bleeding man and immediately called 911, said Courtney Giammaria, an Edgewater spokeswoman.

Emergency Medical Services said the bite was serious, but not life threatening, Jones said. He was taken to NCH Naples Downtown Hospital where he was treated for the wounds.

Bites in Collier County are rare. Monday's attack would be only the eighth in the county since 1882, based on information from the International Shark Attack File.

As the Gulf of Mexico warms above 70 degrees in the late spring, sharks and their prey meander from their winter feeding grounds in Florida Bay to Florida's west coast, said Bob Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota.

Hueter cast doubt on initial reports that the culprit was a 6-to-8-foot bull shark. When the broad, heavy-looking species bites a human, the wounds tend to be severe or fatal. Authorities on the scene described the man's injuryMonday as not life-threatening.

"The problem with bulls is they will go after larger prey items and while people are not on that list, sometimes they get in the way,"Hueter said.

Other sharks that can be found this time of year near the beach and are known to have attacked or bitten humans include black tips, lemon sharks and hammerheads. That the man suffered only one bite also is inconsistent with a bull shark bite, Hueter said, adding that bulls typically try to feed on their victims.

If several sharks are feeding, it is possible that more than one attack may occur at the same beach. But typically one shark bite does not necessarily beget another, Hueter said.

"It's very similar to lightning strikes" he explained.

To avoid a run-in with a shark, experts suggest that swimmers:

1. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry, which may catch a shark's attention.

2. Steer clear of brightly colored swimsuits.

3. Stay away from areas where people are fishing.

4. Swim near a lifeguard.

5. Avoid swimming in waters that are murky.

6. Do not go off on your own.

7. Avoid swimming at dusk or night, when sharks feed.

8. Look for signs of bait fish (which resemble dark clouds in the water), large fish splashing around or birds diving into the water from the air as these are signs that a shark's prey are in the area.

Source: sharksurvivor.com

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Post by sharkbait »

If Florida's sharks are too scary, there's always the pool
Posted : Tue, 29 May 2007 03:32:01GMT
Author : DPA

Naples, Florida- In the shark experts' view the German swimmer did everything wrong.

The 68-year-old went for a swim one recent morning in the waters off Naples, Florida, letting the warm Caribbean currents carry him nearly 100 metres from the beach. Without noticing he was in danger, the man felt a sharp blow on his leg.

He swam back to the beach and when he emerged from the water, he discovered a large, bloody injury in a circular shape on his thigh. A male shark that experts estimate was about 2 metres long had bitten the man with its razor sharp teeth.

Everyone is aware that sharks are out there in the warms waters off Florida's coast, said lifeguard Ben Tadler, who works at Marco Island Beach near Naples, Florida. Anyone who is afraid can swim in the pool, he added. Tadler said the German swimmer broke almost every rule of shark protection. First, he was alone, second, he chose to swim early in the morning and third, he swam far from the shore.

Sharks typically seek their prey in the morning and evening, although contrary to the fantasies of Hollywood directors, normally they don't hunger for human flesh.

George Burgess, a renowned shark expert at the University of Florida, said the incident appeared to be an error on the shark's part. When sharks attack people they believe they have come upon a seabird or dolphin.

Burgess, however, can attest to the fact that nowhere in the world are there more shark attacks than along the heavily visited coasts of Florida. More than one-third of all shark attack worldwide are reported here.

In the first months of this year several people were injured in shark attacks off Florida, some seriously, including a 9-year-old boy who was not far from shore off Hutchinson Island when he was attacked.

Even though the recent incident off Naples was officially only the eighth shark attack along that section of coastline since 1882, water safety officials were alarmed and warnings went up.

The message was, "Enjoy the beach, just remember that it's their (the sharks') water, too," Michael Bauer, Naples natural resources manager, told the Daily News, a local newspaper.

People everywhere in Florida are talking about how to avoid a shark attack. Don't swim alone, don't swim far from shore, don't go into the water with shiny jewelry or open wounds and finally, avoid murky water, according to the advisories.

At the same time authorities are trying to reassure the public and prevent panic. They remind people that the likelihood of a shark attack statistically is extremely slim.

Sharks have not become more aggressive than before, said Burgess. There simply are more attacks because many more people are enjoying activities in the water like surfing, deep sea diving and swimming far from shore.

Thus far in 2007 the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) at the University of Florida in Gainesville has registered about two dozen shark attacks.

Worldwide in 2005 and 2006 there were 60 unprovoked attacks in each year. These were incidents that occurred in the sharks' hunting territory without any attempt to touch, follow or otherwise provoke the shark. In each of the past two years four people were killed by sharks.

The number of registered shark attacks, however, has increased since the 1990s, according to the ISAF, even though the number of sharks in some places has dramatically decreased due to overfishing and pollution. There also is an unknown number of unreported cases, particularly in poor parts of the world.

In the past several decades there have been 500 shark attacks officially reported off Florida; 13 of them were fatal. Surfers are at the greatest risk, according to the experts. In addition there are indications that the number of sharks in the warm waters off Florida is growing.

Gene Maxwell, a local fisherman, told the St Petersburg Times that he had discovered many large sharks while fishing about 100 metres from the shore in water just one metre deep.

"I had never seen so many big sharks in such shallow water," said the 21-year-old fisherman. "I just couldn't believe it."

In a 2005 incident a beach north of Palm Beach, Florida, had to be closed to bathers temporarily because of a shark invasion.

Florida's shark experts also say people who find themselves under attack by a shark should not remain passive, but should hit the shark on the nose or in the eye. Sharks respect size and power, they say.

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Post by sharkbait »

Man bitten by 8-foot shark
NBC2 News
Last updated on: 5/7/2007 5:43:52 PM

NAPLES: A man swimming in the Gulf of Mexico was bitten by an eight-foot shark near the Edgewater Beach Resort in Naples around 8:30 a.m. Monday.

The hotel is located at 1901 Gulfshore Boulevard North.

Authorities identified the victim as 68-year-old Hans Pruss and confirm he was bitten above the knee.

Pruss, who is a guest at the hotel, told authorities he was swimming about 100 yards off shore when he felt something bump his left leg. He couldn't see anything because the water was so murky.

As he got out of the water he noticed a circular wound that extended from just above his left knee to his mid-thigh.

Pruss left bloody footprints in the sand as he walked up the beach for help. He was taken to Naples Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities are keeping people out of the water in the general area and the City Of Naples Natural Resources Manager, Dr. Michael Bauer, has recommended caution regarding any swimming on all city beaches for the next 2 days.

"The important thing is we don't have another bite. That's why it's important to keep them off the beach for a little bit," said Chief Victor Morales, Naples Police Department.

Advice beachgoers are happy to follow.

"I'm not going to want to go out there and jump back in for a swim, let's put it that way," said Mike Murphy.

He says Monday's attack is a scary reminder that when you swim in the Gulf - you are not alone.

"You don't want to hear that, that's for sure. But I guess there are sharks out there. We all know that," said Murphy.

No one witnessed the attack or saw the shark, but marine experts say because Pruss got away with only a bite on his thigh the culprit was likely a black tip shark.

"Black tip sharks will take a quick bite out of the hand or food, and realize that's not what they wanted and then they're gone," said Dr. Bob Hueter, Mote Marine Laboratory.

But Dr. Hueter warns as the weather warms up more bites are possible.

"It's spring time, so bait fish are on the move, prey animals are on the move, and with them comes predators," he said.

Since 1882, there have been only eight confirmed shark bite cases in Collier County, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

http://www.nbc-2.com/articles/readartic ... 440&z=3&p=
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