27 June 2005

Shark kills teen in Florida

A 14-year-old girl was bitten to death by a shark as she swam with a friend off a northwestern Florida beach, authorities said on Sunday.

Jamie Marie Daigle and her friend, Felicia Venable, also 14, were about 180 metres off shore on Saturday when they saw a "dark shadow" in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Walton County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Venable swam to shore to call for help after she saw Daigle being pulled underwater and saw she had been bitten, the statement said.

Jack Timothy Dicus heard the calls for help, swam to the girl and saw her lying face down in the water and unconscious. He put her on his surfboard to float her back to shore.

The shark tried to attack the girl repeatedly as Dicus brought her back to shore, but Dicus was able to strike its nose and continue toward the beach, authorities said.

Rescuers tried to save Daigle, but the Gonzalez, Louisiana girl, who was bitten on the lower part of her body, died of her wounds.

Shark attacks are extremely rare, with just 61 unprovoked shark attacks in 2003, including seven deaths: two in Australia; two in the United States; and one each in Brazil, Egypt and South Africa, according to the International Shark Attack Files.

Attacks have been on the rise since the beginning of the 20th century as more and more people swim, surf and sail. Attacks peaked in 1990, with 481 over 10 years, according to the group, which keeps the worldwide statistics.

Source: www.news24.com


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