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Boy stable after 2nd Florida shark attack

Death of girl Saturday blamed on 6-foot bull shark

story.shark.victim.wjhg.jpg
Emergency responders move the teenage victim to a Panama City hospital Monday.

SHARK SAFETY TIPS

Although the chances of shark attack are slight, swimmers can reduce the risk by:
• Staying out of the water at dawn and dusk, when sharks are feeding
• Avoiding murky waters to reduce the possibility of a shark confusing swimmers for their usual prey
•Swimming in groups because sharks are more likely to attack solitary individuals
• Removing jewelry, because it can reflect light in the same way that a fish's scales would
Source: Florida Museum of Natural History

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS

Florida

PANAMA CITY, Florida (CNN) -- A 16-year-old boy was bitten by a shark Monday in the Gulf of Mexico, two days after a shark killed a 14-year-old girl off the Florida Panhandle, authorities said.

Craig Adam Hutto of Lebanon, Tennessee, was fishing with his brother on a sandbar about 60 yards off Cape San Blas when he was bitten about 11:30 a.m. Monday, said Gulf County government spokeswoman Paula Pickett.

The boy was in stable condition with injuries to at least one of his legs, said Christa Hild, a spokeswoman for Bay Medical Center in Panama City.

He arrived shortly before noon and was listed in critical condition before undergoing surgery, she said earlier.

Hutto and his brother were fishing in waist-deep surf off the Gulf side of Cape San Blas, a narrow spit of land about 40 miles southeast of Panama City. (Map)

The boy was reeling in a fish when he was attacked, said Gulf County Sheriff Dalton Upchurch.

The boy's brother pulled him from the water, and two vacationing medical personnel administered first aid, Upchurch said.

The youth was taken to a nearby hospital and then flown by helicopter to Panama City, he said.

Chief Les Hallman of the South Walton Fire District told reporters the boys were using shrimp as bait.

"The victim was struck unexpectedly," he said. "They did not see the shark before the shark attacked."

Witnesses told WMBB reporter Kira Mathis that Hutto was "in and out of consciousness."

Cape San Blas is on St. Joseph Peninsula, about 95 miles southeast of Miramar Beach where 14-year-old Jamie Daigle from Louisiana was killed Saturday in a shark attack. Autopsy results indicate the girl fell victim to a 6-foot bull shark, officials said Monday. (Full story)

Beaches in that area were closed after the attack but reopened Sunday -- though many visitors shied away from the water.

Daigle died Saturday morning from bites on "the lower portions of her body" after being attacked while she and a friend were swimming about 200 yards from shore, according to a statement issued Sunday by the Walton County Sheriff's Office.

Deaths from unprovoked shark attacks are rare, according to statistics compiled by the International Shark Attack File.

Seven people were killed in shark attacks worldwide in 2004, including two in the United States. California and Hawaii each recorded one shark attack death last year.

There were 12 shark attacks on Florida beaches in 2004, down sharply from 30 in 2003. Experts credit the busy hurricane season in 2004 for the lower numbers.

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