FL: Kiteboarder killed by sharks

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Smashy, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Smashy

    Smashy

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    Feb 4, 2010 (10:05a CST)
    By BRIAN SKOLOFF (Associated Press Writer)

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Sharks killed a kiteboarder off South Florida's Atlantic coast in the state's first deadly shark attack in five years, authorities said.

    A lifeguard spotted Stephen Howard Schafer, 38, in distress about 500 yards off the beach Wednesday. When he paddled out, he found Schafer bleeding and surrounded by several sharks. Schafer was taken to a hospital and died a short time later, according to Rhonda Irons, public information officer for the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

    Authorities are investigating what types of sharks may have been involved.

    Meanwhile, beaches remained open Thursday in the area about 100 miles north of Miami.

    Shark attacks, especially fatal ones, are extremely rare, said George Burgess, a leading shark expert who directs the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida's Museum of Natural History.

    The attack on Schafer was the 14th deadly one in the state since 1896.

    "Internationally, we've been averaging four fatalities per year, despite the fact that there are billions and billions of human hours spent in the sea every year," Burgess said Thursday. "Your chances of dying in the mouth of a shark are close to infinitesimal."

    The U.S. leads the world in the number of unprovoked shark attacks, some deadly, some not, with about 1,032 documented since 1670, according to the International Shark Attack File. Of those, 50 were fatal. Florida leads the world with more than 600 attacks.

    The last fatal shark attack in the state was in 2005 off the Florida Panhandle, where a 14-year-old Louisiana girl was attacked while swimming on a boogie board about 100 yards off shore.

    "Florida as a geographic entity has more than any other place in the world," Burgess said, noting that most attacks are minor, "the equivalent of a dog bite."

    While attacks are rare, Burgess said, people still need to be careful in the ocean.

    "We need to respect it. When we enter the sea, there are certain risks that we should expect," he said.

    However, Burgess noted that this time of year there are typically fewer shark attacks in Florida because temperatures are cooler and not as many people are in the water.

    He said sharks are lining "up in South Florida getting ready to move north" as temperatures begin to warm.

    "The sharks gradually move their way northward and disperse," Burgess said. "The message to take home is this is a rare and unusual event. It should put the antennae up for people, in terms of, 'Yeah, we need to be careful when we enter the sea, but we need to do that every time because we're never guaranteed safety 100 percent of the time when we enter a wild world.'"


    http://kai03.qwest.com/WindowsLive/...ient=landingpage&qid=jvttn445sntc2lzb0rqwsmq3
     
  2. freespirit34

    freespirit34 BMFTSY

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    Friggin' sharks ... first polar bears attack snowboarders and now this. What's next ?? Deer in the demolition derby ??
     

  3. chuckman

    chuckman

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    Being eaten by one shark is bad enough. Now being attacked by a group of sharks. Great, just what I need...another nightmare.
     
  4. JuneyBooney

    JuneyBooney

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    That does not sound like a pleasant way to go at all. But the sharks do live in the water and men live on land. Sometimes the two don't mix well. Pretty sad story though.
     
  5. Zell

    Zell IrregularMember

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    Just nature doing its thing. Sharks attack because they're hungry and if you look like you could be food, well then, you get bitten. If you don't want to be bitten by a shark, then stay out of the water -- they were there first.

    RIP surfer dude.
     
  6. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Don't flop around on the surface...
     
  7. Booker

    Booker

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    Was this guy not aware of the thousands of sharks off the Florida coast that's been all over the news during the past week.

    I'll nominate him for a 2010 Darwin Award.
     
  8. Just1More

    Just1More

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    I blame Al Gore and global warming.
     
  9. Swerved

    Swerved Not panicking

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  10. method

    method

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    Any day, any time of the year, any year, there's thousands of sharks off the Florida coast. I'm sure up and down Florida, there were several thousand other swimmers/surfers/kiteboarders in the water at the very same time as this poor fella.

    1st fatal shark attack in FL in 4 years....wonder how many fatal dog attacks or fatal bee stings there have been in the same time span.
     
  11. tank mechanic

    tank mechanic

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    I am surprised the life guard could even swim with cajones that big.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  12. RF7126

    RF7126

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    No kidding!
     
  13. Smashy

    Smashy

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    That was my reaction, too.
     
  14. Davegrave

    Davegrave Dapper Dan

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    You know you posted something epic when you get quoted 3 times in a row. :rofl:
     
  15. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday CLM

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    Still, SOMEONE wins the Shark Powerball every now and then...what a way to go...I could think of a million better ways...

    I think I'll reduce my chances of 'dying in the mouth of a shark' to 0% by staying out of the water.
     
  16. Dalton Wayne

    Dalton Wayne Epic mustache Millennium Member

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    In my younger days I used to scuba dive in and around sharks seen some big bulls off the Florida waters, gave that up as I got older and wiser. :cool:
    Regards
    DW
     
  17. hyperstyx

    hyperstyx

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    If the kiteboarder didn't know they were in the area when he launched he probably did when he soared over them. He likely wiped out on or near one and was taste tested by one or more. The lifeguard showed some stones paddling out and then in for a rescue having seen circling sharks.
     
  18. G-31

    G-31 .357 Sig

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    I'm gonna have nightmares. :wow:
     
  19. tantrix

    tantrix J'aimeLouisiane

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    Exactly. I'm tired as hell of hearing the same old story about how rare shark attacks are. If you don't want to be bitten in half by a shark, don't get in the ocean.
     
  20. Al Czervik

    Al Czervik

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    As in the skydiving world......when you die, we split your gear.
    Somewhere, out there, is free gear.