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Shark Attack Off Florida Coast Sends Spear Fisherman to Hospital

Image: Shark Attack Off Florida Coast Sends Spear Fisherman to Hospital
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By    |   Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 10:54 AM

A shark attack off the Florida coast on Wednesday near Riviera Beach left a diver injured with bites to the arm.

The Sun Sentinel reported that the diver, whose name was not released, was attacked by a seven-foot bull shark near Singer Island and was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

The diver was spearfishing with other divers at the time of the attack, Palm Beach Shores Police Chief Duncan Young told the Sentinel.

George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File, told the newspaper that sharks can often detect the blood and movement of a thrashing, speared fish.

"That's why sharks seem to appear out of nowhere when a plane goes down or a ship goes down," Burgess told the Sun Sentinel. "Bull sharks are at the top of the list of sharks that do this. Any diver will tell you they're quick to arrive, and as notorious bullies, they're quick to the front of the line."

Witnesses at Sailfish Marina told WPEC-TV that the injured diver appeared to be coherent when emergency personnel arrived on the scene.

Shark attacks on spear fishers are usually classified as provoked attacks.

"While the injuries the person suffered are no less nasty, it’s something that we basically cause ourselves because it’s attractive to the shark," Burgess explained.

According to the International Shark Attack File, North America had the most unprovoked attacks in 2015 than any other country with 59.

"The numerical growth in human-shark interactions does not necessarily mean there is an increase in the rate of shark attacks; rather, it most likely is a function of the growing human population," said an International Shark Attack File statement. "The actual rate of attack likely is declining owing to the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the sea by humans."

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A shark attack off the Florida coast on Wednesday near Riviera Beach left a diver injured with bites to the arm.
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2016-54-14
Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 10:54 AM
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