Kite Surfer Killed In Shark Attack Off Florida Beach

STUART, Fla. (AP) -- A kite surfer was fatally attacked by sharks
off a Stuart beach.

A lifeguard first saw a man, later identified as 38-year-old Stephen Howard Schafer, in distress about 500 yards from shore Wednesday afternoon. The lifeguard paddled out and saw the man encircled by sharks.

The lifeguard put Schafer on his rescue board and paddled away
from the sharks, back to shore. Rescuers performed CPR at the beach, and paramedics took Schafer to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office was investigating the attack.
While swimmers and surfers often receive minor bites off Florida
beaches, officials say fatal shark attacks are extremely rare.

Research scientist Grant Gilmore told The Palm Beach Post the attackers were likely juvenile great white sharks.


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  • by Doug Location: Alliance, NC on Feb 6, 2010 at 05:15 AM
    Life guards on Florida beaches have always been oblivious to shark attacks. Yes, I would have been more than skeptical about going in and saving someone attacked by sharks. Kudos to the life guard for risking his life to save the kite surfer.
  • by CherryCracker Kool-Aid Location: CA on Feb 4, 2010 at 11:11 PM
    Anon: I thought everyone knew this, but apparently not. Lightning strikes are FAR more common than other potentially fatal dangers. If you don't believe me, here's a specific for you to peruse that compares lightning strike to shark attack occurences. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/attacks/relarisklightning.htm
  • by Stan Location: G'ville on Feb 4, 2010 at 05:41 PM
    Ocean Lifeguards have to be a special breed. This guard deserves recognition for his bravery.
  • by Impressed! on Feb 4, 2010 at 04:30 PM
    That lifeguard is extraordinarily brave!!! I'm ashamed to say that I don't think I would have entered a circle of sharks to help a stranger.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2010 at 04:28 PM
    The report said that shark attacks are extremely rare.But you see more of this than lightening strike victoms.But I do have to say it is etremely rare this time of year.But a shark dont know what rare is.All it does is eat!
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