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SHARK ATTACK Surfer had to fight off shark to rescue girl, punching the animal
Miami Herald ^ | 6/26/05 | MONICA HATCHER

Posted on 06/27/2005 8:39:11 AM PDT by ppaul

A Florida surfer said he acted as ''bait'' to try to distract the shark while he wrestled the 14-year-old girl onto his surfboard: ''I've never been so scared in my life.'' The teen later died.

Off Miramar Beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida's Panhandle, longtime surfer Tim Dicus has seen the dark, lithe shadows dart beneath the water -- the glistening gray fins split the waves.

He was once even bumped by a shark, he said. But Saturday was different. Dicus tussled in the water with what experts say was most likely an 8-foot-long hungry bull shark hellbent on snatching a dying 14-year-old girl from the surface.

''The shark kept coming back around,'' said Dicus, 54, who punched the shark on its snout as it circled the girl in bloody water.

A day after the horrific attack near Destin, a still-shaken Dicus said he had a sleepless night. ''I've never been so scared in my life,'' he said. ``It was like the movie Jaws, except I was in it.''

Jamie Marie Daigle, of Gonzales, La. did not survive the attack by the shark as she was boogie boarding with her best friend about 250 yards offshore.

It was around 11:15 a.m., the beach full of tourists and locals. Dicus was surfing. He said he suddenly heard screaming and saw a girl swimming frantically to the shore. When he reached Jaime, she was bobbing face down. One of her legs had been cleaved to the bone from knee to thigh, he said. He saw the pool of blood in the water.

The shark made another snap at her hand, but missed because Dicus pulled it out of reach.

He hoisted the unconscious girl onto his surfboard. All the while, the shark continued to try to get to her, Dicas said. He circled the surfboard. Dicas said he struck the shark hard with his fist once. It did little to discourage the animal.

Dicas finally towed her to a sandbar where two other men were ready with another board and a raft to paddle the girl back to shore.

Using himself as live bait, Dicus said, ``I swam away from them and started slapping the water and kicking to distract the shark.''

Once ashore, paramedics tried to revive the teen, but she had likely lost too much blood.

George Burgess, a researcher at the University of Florida, who investigates shark attacks worldwide, was at the scene and called the attack ''unusual'' for Florida water, mainly because of the shark's aggression.

''This was not a normal Florida attack,'' Burgess said. ''Usually a shark will make a mistake, thinking it's a fish,'' Burgess said. ``In this instance, the shark apparently very knowingly went after a large prey item and persistently tried to follow through on its normal feeding behavior, which would be to come back and attack again and again.''

It was the third unprovoked fatality this year, he said.

On Sunday, a bloody spot in the sand marked where paramedics worked on Jamie, who had come to the vacation spot with her best friends' parents.

Back in her hometown of Gonzales, a suburb of Baton Rouge, parishioners of St. Theresa of Avila Catholic Church mourned the teen's death, calling her ''very beautiful and popular.'' Pastor Gary Belsome, who is also a friend of the Daigle family, said they were dealing with the grief as best as they could.

''At all of the masses yesterday and today, we informed the community about the death and asked them for prayers,'' Belsome said.

Jaime, an accomplished student who was a day camp counselor at the church, was preparing to start high school in August at the prestigious St. Joseph's Academy, an all-girl Catholic school in Baton Rouge.

Last week, she finished a computer prep course with her best friend, who was also admitted to St. Joseph's in the fall.

Jaime had gone with her friend's family on an RV trip to Florida for the weekend. The girls had likely known each other since kindergarten, Belsome said.

Belsome, who spent time with the family Sunday, said that despite the tragedy, the family took solace in that she died while having fun with a good friend.

The Walton County coroner's office will conduct an autopsy today to officially determine the size and species of the shark involved Saturday, believed to be a bull shark.

On Sunday, the 20-mile stretch of beach that officials had closed after the attack had been opened.

''It was business as usual, or almost as usual,'' said Capt. Danny Glidewell, who said the incident was the first of its kind in Walton County.

He said there had been no sightings by midday Sunday. His department had doubled the number of life guards on patrol. A boat was out scanning the water for the predatory fish. Helicopters were also deployed to scour the waters for sharks. Dicus said he had gotten a phone call from Jamie's father thanking him for going out to get her.

``They said they wouldn't have been able to have a normal funeral, if I hadn't gone out there. The shark would have taken her under for good.''


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: beach; florida; funinthesun; hero; miramar; miramarbeach; shark; sharkattack; summer2005; surf
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Summer is here.


1 posted on 06/27/2005 8:39:14 AM PDT by ppaul
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2 posted on 06/27/2005 8:39:58 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: ppaul

Good for that guy.



Since this is America . . . when is his book coming out?


3 posted on 06/27/2005 8:44:23 AM PDT by TheOtherOne (I often sacrifice my spelling on the alter of speed™)
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To: ppaul
Summer is here.

So here is a little box with a red X in it?
4 posted on 06/27/2005 8:44:59 AM PDT by MaryFromMichigan
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To: ppaul

We've been on the beach when the lifeguards tell people to get out because there's a shark, and some people just ignore them. Not me!!!
This is such a sad story. I realize the odds are very small of getting bitten much less killed by a shark, but what an awful way to go.
I pray for her family.
susie


5 posted on 06/27/2005 8:45:06 AM PDT by brytlea (Yes, there are Republican teachers...)
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To: ppaul

He had a lot of courage to hit the shark, especially from a surfboard.


6 posted on 06/27/2005 8:45:48 AM PDT by Old Grumpy
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To: ppaul

Brave guy. Too bad the girl had lost too much blood to be saved.


7 posted on 06/27/2005 8:46:36 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: ppaul

Something in the water bigger than me??? Time to get out.


8 posted on 06/27/2005 8:47:02 AM PDT by SMARTY
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To: ppaul

This sad incident happened here over the weekend. JAWS II was filmed here in the late 70's or early 80's............


9 posted on 06/27/2005 8:47:17 AM PDT by Red Badger (The Army makes the world safe for democracy. The Marines make the world safe for the Army.....)
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To: ppaul

You here the word "hero" thrown around all too often these days - and often inappropriately. But in my book the guy who tried to rescue her rightfully deserves that title.


10 posted on 06/27/2005 8:47:27 AM PDT by Pessimist
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To: ppaul
Tim Dicus

Exactly how does one pronounce that?

11 posted on 06/27/2005 8:48:34 AM PDT by Lost Highway (I don't know what the world may need but a V8 engines a good start for me)
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To: Pessimist

You're right, he was a real hero. He admitted he was afraid. That is what bravery is. You are afraid, but you do what needs to be done anyway.
susie


12 posted on 06/27/2005 8:48:47 AM PDT by brytlea (Yes, there are Republican teachers...)
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To: ppaul

Mr. Dicus is a hero in my book. God bless him for his efforts.


13 posted on 06/27/2005 8:49:18 AM PDT by Millee (So you're a feminist......isn't that cute??)
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To: Lost Highway

On foxnews this morning (with him right there) they pronounced it with a long I sound....
susie


14 posted on 06/27/2005 8:49:27 AM PDT by brytlea (Yes, there are Republican teachers...)
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To: ppaul
''This was not a normal Florida attack,'' Burgess said.

They say this every time, don't they?

15 posted on 06/27/2005 8:49:28 AM PDT by beachn4fun (“Don’t think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.” - - Malayan proverb)
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To: ppaul
I saw the surfer guy on TV, he said he never hit the shark, never was bumped by the shark. In one instance the shark swam towards him -- He said he then slapped the water with his hands and the shark swam away -- that's about par for bull shark. They are not very big, eight feet is max size, but most are much smaller. They are not overly aggressive, generally not attacking humans, but YMMV.

He also said he planned to go back surfing as soon as the beach opened as he knew the shark have been there all along and didn't worry him.

These shark are all along the beaches of the gulf every summer. I remember 35 years ago flying out of Tampa and seeing hundreds of these bull shark just out of sight of the swimmers -- probably 100-200 yards from the beach.

Media hype not withstanding, if you swim with sharks you need to know a little about them. A divers knife strapped to your leg is much more effective than is punching them in the nose. Fortunately I have had to do neither. I surf fish and a sure way to have a shark bite you is to tie caught fish to your belt. Best to take any caught fish to the shore.
16 posted on 06/27/2005 8:51:01 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: ppaul
It was the third unprovoked fatality this year, he said.

How many provoked fatalities were there?

17 posted on 06/27/2005 8:52:35 AM PDT by jtminton (Help stop second hand rap!)
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To: ppaul

A 54 year old surfer? I can just picture that guy, still in the "dude" phase of life.. but ya know what? He is a HERO in my eyes, and deserves alot of credit.


18 posted on 06/27/2005 8:54:11 AM PDT by Paradox (Oft)
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To: ppaul

Very sad story. Mr. Dicas is a hero.


19 posted on 06/27/2005 8:54:44 AM PDT by freekitty
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To: ppaul

250 yards is a pretty long way out there, isn't it?


20 posted on 06/27/2005 8:57:15 AM PDT by ruiner
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To: ppaul

The fattie in Orange looking at the shark reminds me of Teddy Kennedy. I can see Ted standing there, thinking "if only a shark had been at Chappaquiddick, I coulda had the Presidency."


21 posted on 06/27/2005 8:57:51 AM PDT by theDentist (The Dems have put all their eggs in one basket-case: Howard "Belltower" Dean.)
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To: brytlea

You are right about listeneing to people who know danger when they see it. It's another good reason to not go out more than toe deep in the ocean!


22 posted on 06/27/2005 9:02:54 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: ppaul

[...longtime surfer Tim Dicus...]



His older brother, Biggus was in the Monty Python movie "The Life of Brian".

:^)


23 posted on 06/27/2005 9:03:29 AM PDT by spinestein (The facts fairly and honestly presented, truth will take care of itself.)
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To: Tarpon

Excellent points.I would surmize from the brief description of the wound to her leg, that the shark punctured the femoral artery, and she tragically bled out.


24 posted on 06/27/2005 9:09:54 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: ppaul

I guess it is time for the annual freak out about sharks media event.


25 posted on 06/27/2005 9:20:24 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: ppaul

“C’mon… you in the orange shirt with the hat…come on in the water…you know you
want to… there’s no shark in here, you big fat juicy hunk of bacon… just us clams
and seaweed and whatnot… it’s hot… come on in… no sharks at all …very
refreshing…dammit!! Get in here fatso! I’m starving!!”

26 posted on 06/27/2005 9:28:56 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: ppaul

ANOTHER shark attack in Florida, on Fox news NOW.


27 posted on 06/27/2005 9:33:02 AM PDT by stopem
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To: stopem
14 year old Gonzales, LA victim, Jamie Daigle
28 posted on 06/27/2005 9:48:55 AM PDT by Ellesu
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To: ppaul

Righteous dude.


29 posted on 06/27/2005 9:51:32 AM PDT by don-o (Don't be a Freeploader. Do the right thing and become a Monthly Donor!)
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To: Ellesu

Not that it makes any difference but she was a cute kid.


30 posted on 06/27/2005 9:52:06 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: Paradox
A 54 year old surfer? I can just picture that guy, still in the "dude" phase of life...........

What is the age when someone who loves to surf must hang it up????

31 posted on 06/27/2005 9:56:18 AM PDT by Irish Eyes
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To: stopem
"ANOTHER shark attack in Florida, on Fox news NOW."

Just heard the news alert, but no details yet, except it was on the gulf coast, also.
32 posted on 06/27/2005 9:58:56 AM PDT by DocRock
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To: ppaul
We were there in May, and there were plenty of sharks in the water. In fact at least 2 were very territorial the entire time we were there. Folks were chasing them off like they were puppies, but this terrible tragedy proves otherwise. When we enter the ocean we are in their environment.
33 posted on 06/27/2005 10:00:37 AM PDT by conservativecorner
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To: DocRock

Teenage boy attacked this time. Beaches shut down.


34 posted on 06/27/2005 10:02:00 AM PDT by mware ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche........ "Nope, you are"-- GOD)
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To: ppaul

Now--this has been all over the news. How much more 'education' do people need?
There are SHARKS THAT WILL EAT YOU in the waters off the coast of Florida RIGHT NOW. Gulf and Atlantic coasts!
Splash in the surf- DO NOT GO SWIMMING!
I mean-OY! Would anyone jump into a river where alligators were killing people? What is this? Play the odds in the ocean time?
ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE who is attacked by a shark AFTER these stories have been everywhere, dies because of STUPIDITY.
Never has been a shark attack in the hotel pools.
Swim there.


35 posted on 06/27/2005 10:07:00 AM PDT by ClearBlueSky (Whenever someone says it's not about Islam-it's about Islam. Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead!)
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To: yarddog

http://www.wafb.com


Gonzales Community Remembers Jamie

She is being remembered as a bright, athletic young woman, whose loving spirit touched the lives of many in the community of Gonzales. Sunday evening, that tight-knit community remembers 14-year-old Jamie Daigle, the Gonzales honors student killed in a shark attack in San Destin, Florida on Saturday.

Daigle was on the minds of what many consider is her second family, her fellow church members at the St. Theresa of Avila Church where reaction ranged from shocked to grief.

Friends say the Daigle family considered their church a second family, and it is with the help of this close community and their faith that those who knew the bright honors student are making it through such a trying time.

A somber quiet mood hung over mass at St. Theresa of Avila Church in Gonzales Sunday morning. Shocked looks and despair showed on the faces of parishioners as close friends of 14- year-old Jamie Daigle remember a young vivacious woman whose life was suddenly cut too short.

"It's just hard to put into words what you're feeling at this time," says Alice Labat.

"Just shocking," says Jarrett Marchand, "because I grew up with her brother and I know her parents and I've always been around and it's just shocking to see that happened."

What happened is something that this tight community of Gonzales is still trying to make sense of. On Saturday, 14-year-old Jamie Daigle was killed after a shark attacked her and her friend in the waters along San Destin Beach in Florida. The young girl was on vacation with her friend's family when tragedy struck.

Jarrett Marchand grew up in Gonzales with Jamie and her older brother. He remembers a young woman whose spirit was infectious and whose loving nature has still left its mark.

"She was a really sweet girl, really good looking," says Marchand, "everybody loved her, no one had problems with her, just a really nice little girl."

Only two weeks ago, Daigle graduated from the eighth grade at St. Theresa of Avila School. A former classmate says Jamie put a lot of time and passion into the church community.

"It's impossible to imagine this happened," says Jordan Robert. "She was only 14-years-old. And when you hear it on the news and to know that it was somebody you knew and that you saw everyday at school, it's hard to imagine. It hasn't really hit me yet."

But it's clear that even as Jamie's friends grieve, their thoughts right now are turning to what they can do to help support Jamie's parents and brother.

"All I can say for the parents is to pray," says Alice Labat, "to know that God is with them, that he needed another flower in his bouquet and that he picked her."

Daigle was set to attend St. Joseph Academy this fall. The former cheerleader was also an aide at the church camp. Monday, counselors will be at the church to help Jamie's classmates and fellow church members through their grieving process.


36 posted on 06/27/2005 10:08:41 AM PDT by Ellesu
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To: brytlea

per John Wayne - paraphrasing here - "Courage is being afraid and saddling up anyway"


37 posted on 06/27/2005 10:11:08 AM PDT by daybreakcoming
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To: dead
“C’mon… you in the orange shirt with the hat…come on in the water…you know you want to… there’s no shark in here, you big fat juicy hunk of bacon… just us clams and seaweed and whatnot… it’s hot… come on in… no sharks at all …very refreshing…dammit!! Get in here fatso! I’m starving!!”

"Candygram."

38 posted on 06/27/2005 10:18:36 AM PDT by lowbridge
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To: ppaul
I thought he said he slapped at the water and the shark then started to circle around again giving him time to get away from the blood filled water.
39 posted on 06/27/2005 10:20:43 AM PDT by TheForceOfOne (My tagline snapped the last time the MSM blew smoke up my ass. Now its gone forever.)
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To: ken5050
Yep, bled to death, that's what I think. The surfer dude described a 20 foot diameter pool of blood when he got to her. Sounds like he did his best to get her to safety, but it was probably too late by the time he got to her.

He is a brave guy with that much blood in the water it could have been worse. It sounded like he knew how to act when the shark came back for another look, he splashed the water violently. Knowing what to do is 90% of surviving, so stay close to your kids, and don't allow them in deep water.
40 posted on 06/27/2005 10:23:37 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: Paradox
Yes, I think he has a bit of the surfer "bum" in him but he is a hero. Rescuing a bitten victim with blood gushing out of her leg is definitely an heroic act. The shark was in a frenzy mode and did not want to give up its prey. Kudos to Mr. Dicus. You are the Man!

However, my heart bleeds for the girl's family. They are living through a parent's worst nightmare. They have to bury their child. Their loss is great, theirs wounds are deep and their pain is so overwhelming that they will be grieving for a very long time. God Bless little Jaime. And our prayers should be with the family.
41 posted on 06/27/2005 10:25:55 AM PDT by daviscupper
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To: brytlea
Courage is being scared, and getting on your horse anyway.
42 posted on 06/27/2005 10:45:05 AM PDT by Maigrey (TC, Kick that cancer in the @$$ - Texas Termite (shame on you with such language!))
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To: Ellesu

Sometimes I do wonder why these sweet innocents seem to be the victims so often.


43 posted on 06/27/2005 10:48:02 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: ppaul
If they would let the fishermen go after the sharks right up to the shore this problem would go away.

The surf zone belongs to man we need to start enforcing the no-sharks zone.

44 posted on 06/27/2005 10:49:59 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: Tarpon

The Bull Shark is probably responsible for more attacks than any other species. It hunts in the surf zone where it 'feels' for it's food in the turbid water. That's were human bathers can be found.

It tends to hit fast & hard and can snap a leg like a matchstick. If that isn't 'aggressive' I don't know what is.


45 posted on 06/27/2005 11:24:22 AM PDT by Tallguy
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To: Paradox
A 54 year old surfer? I can just picture that guy, still in the "dude" phase of life.. but ya know what? He is a HERO in my eyes, and deserves alot of credit.

Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, representing Huntington Beach California is a 50+ surfer.

Many of them, around these parts.

46 posted on 06/27/2005 11:43:53 AM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: John O
The surf zone belongs to man we need to start enforcing the no-sharks zone.

Charlie Bull sharks don't surf!


47 posted on 06/27/2005 12:03:51 PM PDT by gura
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To: Tallguy
The bull shark is one of many that frequent the Florida surf line, the bull shark is just the biggest common shark, but we have a dozen plus species that are regularly seen near the beach and in the shallows. It is common to think any shark is a bull shark when in fact it can be a reef or nurse shark -- all these look very similar. I fish for shark many times a year and catch my share of bull, reef, nurse, spinner, black tip to name a few types. Any can be dangerous and all can inflict a nasty bite. It's only the rare tiger shark and the hammerhead that is a man eater.

The surf around the Gulf coast of Florida is usually crystal clear, unless a storm stirs it up. It's not like the surf you find in Texas which is quite turbid. From the air off Florida beaches you can clearly see the bottom and the sharks in ten feet of water or less. But they aren't aggressive and do not frequently attack swimmers -- you can see them lazily swimming the beach with swimmers nearby, sometimes hilariously close, as condo dwellers will tell you, they do not attack often. I am talking hundreds of them, not just a few. So if they were aggressive attackers of humans there would be plenty of shark attacks daily.

No doubt the bull shark, because of it's numbers and common larger size, bite humans more than the others. I sure wouldn't treat a shark friendly even if I knew it wasn't a bull shark -- that would be a big mistake.

Not a shark expert, I just swim with them and fish for them regularly :) On any given day when I go out in the boat I see a few shark -- they are very common, more so than the tourist bureau would like you to believe.

By all means, tourists should not pet the sharks ;)
48 posted on 06/27/2005 12:06:30 PM PDT by Tarpon
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To: ppaul

What a brave man.

May God bless him for his courage and bravery.


49 posted on 06/27/2005 12:37:36 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: dead

Was THAT the shark that did this to the girl?

It's HUGE!


50 posted on 06/27/2005 12:38:51 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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