ANIMAL ATTACK FILES
Special Report forwarded to the Animal Attack Files by "Miguel":
|Boy Dies From Florida Shark Attack
Report of November 23, 1998
|VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A 9-year-old boy
was killed by a shark as he swam in the ocean, the first such attack in
Florida in 10 years, authorities said Monday.
James Willie Tellasmon was with his mother Saturday when he was attacked near Ocean Beach at Jaycee Park, some 70 miles north of West Palm Beach along Florida's east coast.
``Witnesses said he started to flail, and then he was gone,'' police chief Jim Gabbard said. ``He just went under.''
A medical examiner said the boy was killed by a large shark, but he could not say what type of shark or exactly how large, Gabbard said.
``This is the time of year when the water temperature starts changing and the migratory fish begin to move through the area. There's lots of bait fish and they're close to shore,'' Gabbard said. ``The predators ... are all where the bait fish are.''
On Nov. 11, a 13-year-old boy was bitten by a shark near where the latest attack took place. The last fatality was in 1988 at the Florida Panhandle.
``Shark bites are fairly common,'' Gabbard said. ``But most ... bite and let go.''