Saturday, June 25, 2005

Florida is Capital of Shark Attacks Worldwide

Young person killed in Florida shark attack Gulf coast scene still under investigation Updated: 4:09 p.m. ET June 25, 2005 SANDESTIN, Florida - A young person was killed Saturday in a shark attack near a campground on the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said. "We have had a confirmed shark attack. The scene is still under investigation," said Darlene Drury, spokeswoman for South Walton Fire-Rescue. Area beaches were closed to swimmers immediately afterward. Details of the attack near Camping on the Gulf Holiday Travel Park in Walton County and the victim's name were not immediately released. Coast Guard spokesman Shawn McGivern in Mobile, Alabama, said authorities were trying to track down the victim's relatives. Story continues below ↓ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- advertisement -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Patrick O'Neill, the campground's general manager, refused to comment. The attack came near the height of the summer tourist season in the Florida Panhandle. Crowds were drawn to the beaches Saturday by temperatures in the upper 80s and high humidity. "There are a lot of people on the beach," said Mike McKee, front desk supervisor at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort and Spa. He said hotels are typically booked to capacity at this time of year. "This doesn't happen very often at all -- very, very seldom," he added. Florida had the largest number of documented shark attacks worldwide last year with 31.

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