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article imageKiteboarder attacked by shark in Florida

By Michael Bearak     Feb 4, 2010 in Lifestyle
Every year people enter the water by the billions and they get out without a care or concern other than not getting pulled under by a riptide. Still, there are other dangers in the water to concern people.
Shark attacks are very rare, but as reported yesterday by Digital Journal's Johnny Simpson, they do happen and people do occasionally die from them.
When lifeguard Daniel Lund reached Stephen Howard Schafer after a 20 minute quarter-mile swim he noticed there was a great deal of blood in the water. Still, after getting Schafer onto his board, the victim was conscious and talking while he got was brought onto the beach and treated by paramedics.
Schafer would later succumb to his injuries making him the first shark attack victim this year and the first fatality in five years in the state of Florida.
While shark attacks happen George Burgess of the University of Florida's Museum of National History pointed out that there have only been about 1,032 recorded attacks in the United States since 1690 and of those only 50 were fatal.
Burgess explained, "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 also pointed out that as a geographic entity Florida has more attacks than any other place in the world, but most are very minor.
The last fatal shark attack in the state of Florida was in 2005 off the Florida Panhandle. There a 14-year-old girl from Louisiana was swimming with a body board about 100 yards off shore.
More about Shark Attack, Kiteboarding, Stephen howard schafer
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