Uncle details Gulf Coast shark attack
PENSACOLA, Florida (CNN) -- The uncle of Jessie Arbogast recalled a pool of blood and his nephew's screams in his account of a horrific July 6 shark attack in Pensacola, Florida, in a National Park Service report released Thursday.
Vance Flosenzier's nephew, Arbogast, lost his arm and almost all his blood when a seven-foot shark bit him while he was swimming in shallow waters off Florida's Gulf coast. Surgeons reattached Arbogast's arm, and the 8-year-old is currently in critical but stable condition in a Pensacola hospital.
Flosenzier was with Arbogast, who had just completed second grade in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and other family members for a summer beach outing when the attack occurred.
"I heard someone yell, 'Shark!' and a scream," Flosenzier told the Park Service. He said he turned toward the water and saw a large pool of blood in the vicinity of his nephew and his own two daughters, who were also in the water.
Flosenzier said he then saw the shark's jaws clamped down on Arbogast's arm. The uncle entered the water and grabbed the base of the shark's tail and tried to pull the shark from the boy.
On his second tug, Flosenzier said, the shark pulled free. An unidentified man caught Arbogast as he fell away from the shark, ensuring he did not drown. The boy had lost his right arm and a chunk of his right thigh in the attack.
Arbogast's aunt, Diana Flosenzier, helped the unidentified man carry the boy from the water. Her husband, meanwhile, held onto the shark and tried to pull it to shore.
Though the shark tried to turn several times toward Flosenzier, he said his grip on its tail left the animal relatively powerless. The uncle eventually dragged the shark up the embankment, whereupon two park rangers approached.
One ranger, Jared Klein, pried open the shark's mouth with his expandable baton.
Peering inside, he saw Arbogast's arm, but determined it was too far inside to be removed.
"The shark was still alive and very active," Klein said, according to the report.
At that point, Klein ordered bystanders to move away, took his gun and shot the shark four times in the head.
The rangers then reopened the shark's mouth and a lifeguard, his arm wrapped in a towel, reached inside with "medical tweezers" and pulled the boy's arm out.
Meanwhile, Diana Flosenzier began CPR on Arbogast as her husband grabbed towels and shirts to stanch the flow of blood. The second ranger eventually took over performing CPR on Arbogast, who was not breathing and had no pulse.
Medics took Arbogast to Pensacola's Baptist Hospital, where surgeons reattached the arm in a nearly 12-hour procedure. The Mississippi native had lost almost all his blood, doctors said, and suffered organ damage.
The extent of any brain damage has not been determined.
The boy was later transferred to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital, also in Pensacola.
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