Monday, June 27, 2005

Shark Attacks 2nd Teen Off Fla. Panhandle

By BILL KACZOR, Associated Press Writer

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A teenage boy was critically injured Monday in the second shark attack in three days along the Florida Panhandle.

The boy, whose age and name were not released, was taken to Bay Medical Center in Panama City. The nature of his injuries was not immediately released.

He was attacked off Cape San Blas, a popular vacation destination about 80 miles southeast of the Destin area where 14-year-old Jamie Marie Daigle of Gonzales, La., was killed by a shark on Saturday.

Daigle had been had been swimming on a boogie board with a friend about 100 yards from shore when a shark tore away the flesh on one leg from her hip to her knee.

After Saturday's attack, a 20-mile stretch of shore was closed to swimmers, but beaches reopened Sunday with a double staff of sheriff's beach patrol officers.

Florida averaged more than 30 shark attacks a year from 2000 to 2003, but there were only 12 attacks off the state's coast last year, according to figures compiled by the American Elasmobranch Society and the Florida Museum of Natural History.

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