A rare shark attack happened this month in the Florida Keys. A man received a severe bite on his shoulder before his pregnant wife jumped into the water and pulled him to safety. This is their incredible story.
Pregnant Wife Saves Man from Shark Attack
A shark attack such as this one is almost unheard of in the Florida Keys. Since 1882, Monroe County has reported only 17 unprovoked shark attacks in the area.
That’s only part of what makes this shark attack so shocking.
Andrew Eddy and his wife Margot Dukes Eddy were enjoying the day on a private boat with Dukes Eddy’s parents, sister, and her sister’s boyfriend. Having gotten in the water to do some snorkeling, the shark attacked Eddy almost immediately upon entry into the water.
His wife first saw the shark’s dorsal fin, then saw the water fill with blood. Without hesitation, she jumped into the water and pulled him back onto the boat to safety. Eddy suffered a severe bite to his shoulder, and, miraculously Margrot was unharmed.
They got him back to Sombrero Beach where he was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.
The sheriff’s office reported that others saw a bull shark in the area, which aligns with the eight to 10-foot-long one that bit Eddy. Eddy’s current condition is unknown.
Shark Attack Rules
Though shark attacks are rare in most places, they do happen. Knowing what to do to avoid unwanted encounters is key, as is knowing what to do if you do find yourself in a dangerous situation.
How to Avoid an Attack
There are a few ways you can avoid encounters with sharks so that you don’t find yourself up close and personal with one.
- Know where not to swim.
Don’t swim in river mouths, especially in places with high bull, tiger, and great white shark populations. These sharks are the most likely to attack humans and are often attracted to these areas because of silt and other materials in the water there.
- Avoid fishing boats.
Fishing boats attract sharks because plenty of food can be found there. If you see fishing boats, even if they are far out on the horizon, don’t get in the water. Even if they are just small recreational fishing boats, they will still be discarding materials such as unwanted fish parts back into the water, all of which will attract sharks.
- Know when not to swim.
Sharks do not have very good eyesight. If you swim early in the morning or later at night when visibility is low, they are more likely to mistake you for a seal or other proper food source.
- Don’t bleed or pee in the water.
Sharks can detect one drop of blood in several hundred million parts of water. The smell of blood will attract them, thinking that there is food in the area. Urine does the same thing, so surfers who like to pee in their wetsuits should be aware. Menstruating women are also better off to stay out of the water until their period is over.
How to Survive a Shark Attack
If you do find yourself face-to-face with a shark, there are things you can do to make it out alive.
- Don’t Panic.
Easier said than done, of course. The more you move and splash around, however, the more interest the shark will take in you. Because sharks don’t have hands, they use their mouths to “explore” something. Though exploratory bites aren’t usually deadly, you definitely don’t want to encourage them.
- Maintain Eye Contact.
Sharks are ambush predators, meaning that if they are going to attack they want to catch you off guard when they do it. Do your best to keep swiveling your head to maintain eye contact. This will make it feel less comfortable and less likely to attack.
- Either Stay Big or Get Small.
If the shark is in attack-mode, then you want to make yourself as big as possible. The bigger you are, the more the shark will respect you.
If the shark is not threatening and simply swimming by, you want to curl up into a ball and make yourself as small as possible. The smaller you are, the less likely that the shark will see you as a competitor for food.
- Hit Them Where it Counts
If the shark does attack, the last thing you want to do is play dead. The best places to punch a shark are the gills. Many people say to punch the nose, however, sharks are fast and both of you are moving, so likely you could end up putting your arm in its mouth.
If you have any objects on you, like an underwater camera or a snorkel, use it as a weapon. Remember, the further you can stay away from the shark the better.
- Cut Off the Angles
Whether it’s a rock face or a coral reef, keeping that at your back so that the shark can’t swim behind you will make it easier for you to watch what the shark is doing.
- Back Away Slowly
Keeping your face to the shark, slowly swim backward toward shore with as little movement as you can. Remember, the less splashing and flailing you do, the better.
The Bottom Line
The reality is, making out of a shark attack completely unscathed is not very likely. You are better off following the warnings, staying alert, and doing what you can to avoid them altogether.