A 10-year-old boy has had part of his leg amputated after being bitten by a shark in Florida’s Keys, his family has announced.
Jameson Reeder Jr. was attacked Saturday afternoon at Looe Key Reef, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said.
The child, who had gone on a boat with his family, was snorkeling in this shallow reef when he was ‘attacked’ in the leg by what appeared to be a 2.4m plus ‘bull shark’ , said his uncle Joshua Reeder on Facebook.
Jameson Reeder Jr. “miraculously” managed to hang on to a floating foam stick and was saved by family members, who put a tourniquet on his leg, Joshua Reeder added.
Hospitalized in Miami, the boy had to be amputated below the knee.
“He is now out of the operating theater and resting,” his uncle wrote.
An online fundraiser launched by his family raised more than $50,000 by Tuesday afternoon.
The unusually high number of shark attacks off the coast of New York State has raised fears in the United States this summer, but the risk of being bitten by this animal remains low.
Locally, the situation can vary greatly from year to year but, globally, around 75 shark attacks are still recorded each year. The number of deaths is around five.
Studies have shown that sharks, which do not intentionally attack humans, can confuse surfers or swimmers with their usual prey.
In the United States, the majority of attacks occur on the Atlantic coast of Florida.